While Brammo's production arrangement with Flextronics was a pretty significant deal, their latest strategic partnership may prove even more momentous. Powersports powerhouse Polaris Industries has helped close out its $28 million series B funding round in style and committed to synergistically dipping their vast peanut butter resources into the electric motorcycle maker's technology chocolate. So to speak.

Polaris has been showing considerable interest in electric propulsion for some time, producing an electric version of its Ranger Side-by-Side (pictured above), and more recently buying up Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) from Chrysler. This latest move likely signals the addition of clean and quiet drivetrains to ATVs and motorcycles under the global giant's brand umbrella – snowmobiles may have to wait on battery breakthroughs before they become commercially feasible.

Though it's unlikely that Polaris will roll out electric cruisers or touring bikes in the immediate future under its Victory or Indian nameplates, sharing floorspace with Brammo's commuter, sport and dirt bikes would help educate their core customers about the electric possibilities and hopefully bring in a new breed of buyer.

Of course, there's little doubt Brammo bothans boffins will be busy developing the systems needed to power bigger bikes. If Tesla Motors can build a 320-mile high-performance Model S in 2012, can an electric tourer with similar range be much further away? We suspect not.

Meanwhile, the advantages of the deal for Brammo are more immediate. It now has more cash on hand to help roll out the raft of bikes they've announced but have yet to produce (Enertia Plus, Empulse, Encite MMX PRO, and three Engage variants), as well as a significant distribution network to sell them through.

If the two companies mesh well, this could get very interesting. Hit the jump for the official press release along with a bonus video featuring the Brammo Enertia being produced at a Flextronics facility in Hungary.
Show full PR text
PRESS RELEASE

Brammo Drives Growth with $28 Million Series B and Forms a Strategic Partnership with New Investor Polaris Industries.

Ashland, Oregon, USA October 26, 2011 - Brammo Inc, a leading developer of electric vehicle technology and manufacturer of two-wheel electric vehicles, announced today that it has closed a $28 million Series B funding round designed to accelerate the company's development plans.
The final tranche of the Series B was led by Polaris Industries and included further contributions from existing shareholder Alpine Energy, while adding NorthPort Investments LLC. Polaris, a recognized leader in the powersports industry joins the team as a key strategic partner for Brammo, bringing opportunities to broaden the range of markets for Brammo Electric Vehicle (EV) drivetrain technology and expertise.

"We are excited to add Polaris Industries as a valued strategic partner. Brammo and its partners are combining forces to gain dominance in the EV powersports market," said Brammo, Inc., Founder and CEO Craig Bramscher. "We now have the ability to maintain our high standards of quality while we innovate and commercialize at speed, and this enables us to better serve our customers and build a sustainable advantage. Polaris is the clear leader in powersports and our manufacturing partner, Flextronics, is a global leader in electronics manufacturing. Our products are the synthesis of powersports and electronics. Polaris and Flextronics present the best possible partners to help Brammo achieve the scale and prolific product development plans we have for the coming years."

The foundation of Brammo's success lies in its innovative battery and powertrain technology, which is integral to its expanding product line, including the Enertia - urban commuter, Empulse - sports motorcycle, and Engage and Encite - super moto and off road motorcycles. This same EV technology has potential in both the powersports and the low speed vehicles markets. The intent of Brammo's strategic partnership with Polaris is to enhance Brammo's leadership in the 2 wheeled EV space, while broadening its reach in terms of product development, geographic reach and aggressive growth; all while continuously improving quality, performance, and customer service.

Flextronics enables Brammo to scale through time efficient procurement, supply chain optimization, and high quality assembly. Additionally Flextronics is partnering with Brammo on its battery packaging design and is providing design for manufacturing (DfM) services to Brammo. Currently producing the Enertia at its Sarvar facility in Hungary, Flextronics is about to begin producing the Brammo Power™ battery packs at its Frickenhausen facility in Germany.

About Polaris
With annual 2010 sales of $1.99 billion, Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets innovative, high quality off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER® for recreational and utility use, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric powered vehicles.

Polaris is a recognized leader in the powersports industry, among the global sales leaders for both snowmobiles and off-road vehicles. The Company has established a presence in the heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle market with Victory motorcycles and the acquisition of the Indian motorcycle brand. Additionally, Polaris continues to invest in the Global on-road low speed vehicle industry with internally developed vehicles and the acquisition of Global Electric Motorcars (GEM). Polaris enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Pure Polaris apparel, accessories and parts, available at Polaris dealerships.
Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "PII", and the Company is included in the S&P Mid-Cap 400 stock price index.

Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicles accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime at www.polarisindustries.com

About Brammo
Brammo, Inc., is a leading electric vehicle technology company headquartered in North America. Brammo designs and develops electric vehicles including the Encite™, Enertia™, Empulse™ and Engage™ motorcycles. Brammo is the current TTXGP eGrandPrix champion of North America. Brammo is an OEM supplier of its innovative Brammo Digital Drivetrain™ systems including the Brammo Power™ battery pack and Brammo Power™ vehicle management system. Brammo has vehicle distribution and marketing operations in North America, Europe and Asia. To learn more, visit www.Brammo.com




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      PR
      • 3 Months Ago
      This is good news. Hopefully this will lead to being able to buy a Brammo Empulse here at my local Polaris dealership, instead of having to get it shipped and put it together myself.
      methos1999
      • 3 Months Ago
      Carry over from the RR is a pretty big assumption since the RR is a track specific bike - meaning the fairings it uses are not designed to accommodate headlights, turn signals, etc. So maybe it would "fit" but that does not necessarily make it an easy add on.
      Dave Estey
      • 3 Months Ago
      I wish there was a like button for that comment.
      HVH20
      • 3 Months Ago
      I've got my pre-order in for the Empluse. Glad to see this investment, it helps assure me I'm not waiting on Vapor Ware. Also, I didn't know the encite had a valance battery pack. They've been rather hush hush on what systems they use.
        • 3 Months Ago
        @HVH20
        Just to clarify - Only the Brammo Enertia uses the Valence battery pack.
      EmpulseBuyer
      • 3 Months Ago
      Brammo gains a solid partner and a solid distribution network, with cash to help accelerate products to market. Lets see that production ready Empulse now!
        • 3 Months Ago
        @EmpulseBuyer
        I will make sure you are on the VIP list for the launch......
          EmpulseBuyer
          • 3 Months Ago
          Would that mean I would have to be in Milan next month? Or are you referring to the Empulse launch in the states which I could certainly make? Thanks either way!
      PhilipJ
      • 3 Months Ago
      this is definitely good news because it seems like brammo could really use some help setting up a nationwide dealer and maintenance network, plus i really want an electric atv
      methos1999
      • 3 Months Ago
      I'm just waiting for somebody to build and sell to the general public an electric sportbike. Brammo has come the closest with the Empulse, but why, for the love of god, did they make it a naked? I understand the desire to show off the battery pack, but given e-bikes are still not even close to competitive to ICE bikes in terms of range/$, why wouldn't they add fairings to at least help get better range??
        Richard Gozinya
        • 3 Months Ago
        @methos1999
        I can see the desire to go with a naked, all the coolest bikes are nakeds. Unfortunately, the Empulse looks like it was designed by someone who thinks the Monster and Striple are just too darned scary.
        • 3 Months Ago
        @methos1999
        A fairing will almost certainly be available for those that want it......
        EmpulseBuyer
        • 3 Months Ago
        @methos1999
        I would assume that the fairings from the Empulse RR will carry over to the production Empulse as at least an option. We will have to wait and see... the production version is supposed to be revealed at the EICMA in Milan next month. Exciting stuff.
      methos1999
      • 3 Months Ago
      There is - it's the thumbs up button above the reply button - thanks :)
      methos1999
      • 3 Months Ago
      From the factory? Do you work for Brammo?
      karlInSanDiego
      • 3 Months Ago
      The Empulse RR uses Carbon Fiber fairings manufactured by a carbon-only company, so guessing it won't translate. I'm also eagerly awaiting buying an Empulse and strapping it to my soon-to-be-installed 10kW solar array!
      EmpulseBuyer
      • 3 Months Ago
      Well yeah, obviously the race fairings will need to be modified for street... but they wont have to completely redesign them.
      tifosiotaku
      • 3 Months Ago
      I'd buy an electric-powered cruiser bike.
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