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Monotracer1_800It's no secret that the automotive industry is in a scramble. Overlooking the market's desire and the world's need for fuel-efficient (and how about fun?) transportation, the giants in Michigan have been superseded by a foreign underdog. Leading this current of change is the Swiss engineering company, Peraves. Their alternative vehicles, the MonoTracer and the electric version E-Tracer, usher in a new era of the commuter car. Currently, the E-Tracer has made its home at National Cycle where it awaits the second round of judging for the Automotive X Prize and the $10 Million First Place finish money.

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National Cycle

MotoCzysz E1PCSome very exciting news came about in mid-August from a certain Oregon-based electric motorcycle racing company. MotoCzysz has found a business partner for their electric drive system in the manufacturer of the motor they use in the E1PC, Remy Electric Motors. The deal will see the technology further developed for use in both other motorcycle designs and automobiles. The design philosophy at the heart of this super-efficient system is simple: design the bike around the batteries and the motor. Many other designs fit the electric tech around a frame designed for the internal-combustion engine…sort of backwards, but inexpensive.

Michael Czysz actually spoke about this technology at the 2010 Industrial Designers Society of America conference inMotoCzysz E1PC Battery Core Portland before the deal was announced. There he explained how the MotoCzysz “D1g1tal Dr1ve” produces a 93% efficiency versus the 70~80% of most other configurations in use.

We all know how well the E1PC performed at the Isle of Man TT Zero. In case you don’t, they won it with an average speed of 94.6 mph – a course record for electron powered two-wheelers. There is no denying its potential and you would not be wise to ignore this advanced concept. Once ready for production, the MotoCzysz design – with the help of Remy - should find extensive use in everything from race bikes to industrial vehicles – not even the sky is the limit.

Industry News

- Industry Veterans to Manage Operations, Service and Purchasing Channels -

Santa Cruz, CA (September 14, 2010) Zero Motorcycles, the global leader in the electric motorcycle industry, today announced the appointment of Steve Salyer, Vice President of Operations, Richard Kenton, Director of Customer Service and Floyd Goshorn as Director of Developmental Purchasing. The additions mark Zero’s continuing trend of combining leading motorcycle and technology executives to build a new kind of motorcycle company. With seasoned executives in every key management roll, Zero is now in a position for even more aggressive growth through 2011.

 “Strong leadership is essential for us to continue as the premier electric motorcycle manufacturer,” said Gene Banman, CEO of Zero Motorcycles. “Steve, Richard and Floyd all have vast experience that perfectly coincide with our goals to build fun and affordable electric motorcycles. Their decision to join Zero Motorcycles in addition to our recent appointment is a clear endorsement that our vision and capabilities will set us above the competition.”

 As a supply chain and electrical engineering veteran who’s professional experience coincides with his passion for restoring and riding vintage motorcycles, Steve Salyer brings several years of executive management and engineering experience to his new role at Zero Motorcycles. While previously serving as President of Oxford Instruments, Salyer designed and built the company’s newest factory, tripling its capacity and doubling sales in three years. Salyer also authored Oxford Instrument’s quality manual including all protocols and managed the successful implementation of their ISO 9001 certification. During his tenure at Oxford Instruments, Salyer took on the role of ERP administrator while developing the sales, planning and manufacturing process flow. He also designed their NPI process, which is consistent with IFRS requirements, including their master plan, and GDPM. In addition to his many management accomplishments, Salyer holds numerous patents in the X-ray and vacuum tube technology sectors.

Kenton joins Zero Motorcycles with more than 12 years experience in the motorcycle and automotive industries. He has served in both customer service and after sales positions for BMW Motorrad, BMW North America, BMW Canada, Rolls-Royce, MINI and most recently as After Sales Director for Husqvarna Motorcycles. As a lifelong rider, racer, and enthusiast for all things two-wheels, Kenton raced in several specialized championships including the BMW Boxer Cup, Honda Hornet Cup, and the inaugural Husqvarna Supermoto Cup. Kenton has also traversed the east coast of Australia, Ecuador, Asia and many European and North American countries on dual sport motorcycles. He brings a level of passion and adventurous zeal that mirrors his world-class customer service experience to Zero Motorcycles and works to ensure all Zero customer’s needs are handled expeditiously and professionally.

Goshorn comes to Zero Motorcycles with more than 16 years of experience in motorcycle industry purchasing. He has worked with some of the biggest brands in the industry, including Harley-Davidson, Buell Motorcycle Company, Milsco Manufacturing (maker of motorcycle seats) and most recently as a manufacturer’s representative for GSK Group (Taiwan) and Kaiping Gada (China) which manufacturer a variety of motorcycle components.

During his time at Buell, Goshorn advanced to a Purchasing Engineer Lead. In this lead position, Goshorn was responsible for the successful integration of supplier components into new vehicle systems, planning and delivery of new products to market, managing quality, cost and timing targets; and engaging suppliers to share and integrate new technology and ideas. In his new role at Zero, Goshorn will be mainly responsible for supplier identification, selection, and development while setting quality, cost and time targets for individual components and ensuring targets are met.

Salyer, Kenton, and Goshorn round out Zero’s current bevy of industry talent which includes John Lloyd, VP of Worldwide Sales, Jay Freidland, VP of Sustainability, Abe Askenazi, VP of Engineering and Edwin Belonje, European Managing Director.

"2010 has been an exceptional year for us,” Banman added. “With four unique electric motorcycles, impressive global activity and world-class talent acquisitions, we have the perfect team in place to make tremendous strides in electric motorcycle technology and we look forward to what 2011 will bring while continuing to raise the bar in the industry.”

About Zero Motorcycles:

Zero Motorcycles is the next step in motorcycle evolution and represents the ultimate electric motorcycle technology. Unencumbered by conventional thinking about how they design, manufacture, and sell high performance electric motorcycles, they are on a mission to turn heads and revolutionize their industry by combining the best aspects of a traditional motorcycle with today’s most advanced technology.

Industry News

Smart logoYou read that right, Daimler AG’s Smart brand is working on a concept step-through two-wheeler which will run on batteries – an electric scooter. The machine itself will debut at the 2010 Paris Auto Show to be held at the end of September and into early October at the Paris Expo Port de Versailles in France. Also in attendance will be BMW’s Mini auto brand with their own electric scooter concept. It seems that all the big European auto makers are lining up to join in the environmentally-benign electric two-wheeled world – even VW has one.

The Smart version will run on lithium-ion batteries which should provide it with a 60+ mile range on a single charge. The company did release several sketches of the design, but the battery is the only technical specification released thus far.Smart Electric Scooter Concept

Word through the automotive press is that the new electric scooter idea is being launched as part of a “broad-based mobility strategy” in order to improve Smart’s lagging sales in both North America and Europe. Given the engineering expertise which Smart has in abundance, the two-wheeler could be easily produced in any number of factories worldwide. The new machine could hit the streets within months once they decide whether to manufacture it or not.

Funny, the company founded by the man credited with the very first motorcycle may start making them again!

Industry News

MCI_Association_logoThe government of the UK has long been involved in helping to push forward with widespread adoption of electric automobiles and has now created the “Plug in Car Grant” program (which offers up to £5,000 in government assistance towards the purchase) to help consumers along. The program is scheduled to go into effect in 2011.

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