Tesla Challenger Brammo Looks to IPO
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), the electric vehicle company championed by the notorious Elan Musk, has been a story stock over the past year achieving returns of over +280% and amassing an almost cult-like following of loyal investors. Tesla is not the only player in the electric vehicle space, with a number of US auto manufacturers offering electric vehicles or hybrids. One private company which manufactures electric vehicles and is looking to IPO in 2015 is Brammo.
Oregon-based Brammo is a privately held company with just over $53 million in funding so far from the likes of Polaris, Best Buy, Chrysalix, and Alpine Energy. The Company designs and develops electric motorcycles with vehicle distribution and marketing operations in North America, Europe, and Asia. The company was founded by Craig Bramscher, the company’s CEO, who originally set out to design a supercar that could accommodate his 6-foot 3-inch frame. After experimenting with various supercar prototypes, the company decided on moving to motorcycle development.
Brammo sells two main motorcycle models; the Enertia and the Empulse. Brammo’s latest model, the Empulse, has a top speed of 100MPH and a range of over 100 miles.
The Empulse’s 9.3-kilowatt battery powering the bike can be recharged in 3.5 hours from your standard plug. The Empulse has a six-speed gearbox and regenerative braking (which simulates engine braking) like a normal motorcycle and features the world’s first water-cooled electric motor. In an article by Tech Crunch, the Director of Product Development at Brammo, who rides a BMW S1000RR, said he has not had to change his riding style in any way when switching to the Empulse. From a cost perspective, the 2013 BMW S1000RR has an MSRP of around $15,000. Wired Magazine reviewed the Empulse’s performance on curving roads and stated that it rivaled the Triumph Street Triple and the performance on straight roads felt “just a touch behind middleweight naked bikes like the Suzuki SV650 or Kawasaki Ninja 650.” Brammo’s Empulse RR also won the 2012 TTXGP World Championship at Daytona International Speedway, the first electric vehicle race held at the Daytona track. Brammo has electric race bikes that can reach over 175 MPH.
According to an article by Cleantechnica, Brammo hopes that by 2015, sales of their motorbikes will be enough to enough to lure in lots of investors, enough to raise $150 million to expand operations, marketing, production, and sales in order to launch an all-electric car of which the prototype is said to be 85% complete now. Brammo’s bikes are exciting not just because they are electric but because they look good and they perform. While 2015 is a ways away for an IPO, Brammo is establishing itself in the electric motorcycle space and it begs the question of just how good this company might make for a bolt-on acquisition by Tesla before they have the chance to IPO.