There’s been a lot of positive vibes coming out of Zero Motorcyclesrecently. Fresh off of announcing its expansion into the Italian market, the California-based electric motorcycle company has received an extra round of financial help coming from the California Energy Commission.

The CEC issued a grant to the company amounting to $1,009,220. According to Zero, company investors will match the CEC’s grant, bringing the total investment to a little more than $2 million. That number might not sound like a lot for other companies, but for a start-up like Zero Motorcycles, that would be enough to help the company infuse some needed funds into its research and development department, as well as its assembly plant in Scotts Valley, California.

It’s also a clear sign of the growing confidence being put into Zero Motorcycles and the company’s ability to improve its growth both in and outside the US market. It also comes at a perfect time for Zero Motorcycles to increase its share of a market that can be best described as in flux given the recent downfall of Brammo’s business and the new interest in electric motorcycles coming from some of the biggest companies in the world.

But right now, it’s Zero Motorcycles’ space and the confidence being shown by entities like the CEC could go a long way in the company’s quest to become a major player in the electric motorcycle segment.

Continue reading to read more about Zero Motorcycles’ new investment funding from the California Energy Commission.

Why it matters

For a relatively new company looking to break into the motorcycle industry, Zero Motorcycles is pushing all the right buttons. It’s a credit to the leadership of CEO Richard Walker, who seemingly understands that being successful in the business means that you’re going to need a lot of help from investors, especially because Zero Motorcycles doesn’t have the financial might of its competitors.

It certainly helps that you’re building your entire company on electric motorcycles. That’s going to get the attention of organizations like the California Energy Commission, which itself is a leading proponent of zero emissions vehicles.

Janea A. Scott, lead commissioner on transportation for the California Energy Commission, put it best when she said that zero emission vehicles “helps the state meet its clean air, climate, and petroleum reduction goals."

In its own way, Zero Motorcycles is promoting the same message and if the words of VP of Operations Kai Hypko have any weight to them, we can take comfort knowing that the company will put the CEC’s investment to good use.

Zero Motorcycles is a company that has yet to tap its full potential and if it continues pushing the right buttons, more and more people will begin to recognize its products the same way organizations like the California Energy Commission already know.

That, in a nutshell, is good for the company’s business.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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Press Release

Zero Motorcycles, the global leader in the electric motorcycle industry, announced today that it has been awarded a grant of $1,009,220 from the California Energy Commission (CEC). With matching commitment from Zero, over $2M in funding will be made available to drive the company’s continued research, development and assembly of 100% electric motorcycles at their California headquarters.

"We thrive at the intersection of transportation, technology and energy efficiency," said Zero Motorcycles CEO Richard Walker. "This generous grant, combined with the confidence of our investors, accelerates our global growth, expands Zero’s local workforce and manufacturing capacity, and will fuel continued innovation across all of our products."

Zero was founded in Santa Cruz in 2006 and has been pioneering electric motorcycles ever since. Each year, the model line has seen great advancements in performance, range, features and value. Zero motorcycles are proudly "Crafted in California" at the company’s Scotts Valley (Santa Cruz County) headquarters.

"It’s exciting to see Zero Motorcycles grow from a pilot production line we funded to an expanded manufacturing line through this latest grant," said Janea A. Scott, lead commissioner on transportation for the California Energy Commission. "Transitioning from older, higher polluting vehicles to zero emission vehicles—ones with no tailpipe pollution—helps the state meet its clean air, climate, and petroleum reduction goals."

The California Energy Commission is focused on promoting efficiency and conservation, supporting cutting-edge research, and developing California’s renewable energy resources. Zero is committed to using the CEC grant to expand its production capacity through improvements in its manufacturing line, production efficiency and engineering processes.

"We believe CEC funding is ideally suited for this kind of project as we leverage 21st century California clean-tech manufacturing," said Kai Hypko, VP of Operations at Zero. "As electric vehicles continue to gain popularity, Zero Motorcycles helps reduce petroleum use, improve air quality and energy efficiency, all while creating more skilled jobs here in California."

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