Zero Motorcycles Gets $1 Million CEC Grant

MAY 14 2015 BY TDILLARD 12

Zero Motorcycles just announced an award of $1 million from the California Energy Commission.  Here’s the text of the release:

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., (May 14, 2015) – 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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12 Comments on "Zero Motorcycles Gets $1 Million CEC Grant"

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Too million should be enough money for Zero to develop a high-voltage, water-cooled, motor. That ought to solve a few of their running issues as well as convince current Zero owners to upgrade to another new model.

The blog post says the grant will be used to expand the manufacturing line.

They purposely made it air cooled, belt driven, and no tranny for simplicity and cost reduction. i hope they don’t make watercooled bike unless it is only just for a flagship super bike

Richard, what kind of running issues have you had with your Zero? What maintenance issues?

I recall a report or two of ZEROs reducing power for a while when pushed hard. I think it was an article on the 2015 models by professional rider/writer Loz Blain on

The power reduction is a safety feature, as I understand it. Keeps the motor from overheating, which with permanent magnets, is a bad thing.

Aren’t there like 2bb in carbon auction proceeds to spread around?

Expand the manufacturing line? How about spending the money on more dealer technician training?

Zero has made amazing progress across the product line over the past 5 years. I visited Rocket Motorcycles last week and Hollywood Electrics yesterday to take a look at the 2015 models and was very impressed. Might have to make space in the garage soon.

The potential Craig Bramscher abandoned is staggering. Colossal stupidity.

I have only had one problem with my 2014 Zero. When the “Power Tank” was first installed it wouldn’t connect with the bike’s computer. It turned out that the “tank” module was defective and it required a Zero factory technician to replace it with a new one. Since then I have done nothing but ride my bike. No problems and no maintenance or repairs have been required. Certainly much lower running costs than my BMW motorcycles.

While I am very happy with the performance of my “S” and do not need a more powerful or water-cooled motor, there certainly are Zero customers who would like to go faster longer than the current models. And that includes anyone who would like to race the bikes.

Richard, I read a lot of your posts on EMForum; nice to see you here as well!

Personally, I hope Zero invest in (1) a sport-touring type fairing, for better range and comfort, as well as in DCQC options, so day-touring is a real option.