Brammo Electric Motorcycles Zoom to Global Success

The partnership between Business Oregon and Ashland-based electric motorcycle maker Brammo, Inc., continues to pay dividends to both the company and the local community.

In May 2012, the company unveiled its newest electric motorcycle models: the Empulse and Empulse R. The Empulse models both boast a 100-mile range and a 100 miles-per-hour top speed. The company said it had received 1,000 pre-orders for the Empulse at the time of the announcement.

The 2012 announcements marked the latest success in a four-year run of growth by the innovative company that has benefited from several financing partnerships with Business Oregon as well as the agency's Infrastructure Finance Authority (IFA).

In 2006, the IFA provided $700,000 to the city of Ashland through a $310,000 grant and a $390,000 loan to develop a local street to accommodate Brammo's new production facility and future headquarters. As fuel prices soared in 2008, Brammo, Inc., transitioned to become a "green" company that manufactures an all-electric motorcycle—the Enertia. The vehicle is targeted to the urban commuter, and will have an initial range of 40 miles on a single electric charge.

In August 2009, Business Oregon helped the company secure a $100,000 forgivable loan from the Governor's Strategic Reserve Fund to help finance an ambitious workforce training program. This funding complemented a $45,000 grant to the company from the Workforce Response Team for Jackson and Josephine counties for lean manufacturing training provided by the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

In early 2010 the company signed a partnership agreement with a Hong Kong-based electric vehicle distributor, co-founded by movie star Jackie Chan, which has already resulted in a deal to sell 300 electric motorcycles to the Hong Kong police department.

Later in 2010, Brammo reported that it expected to realize more than $5 million in additional export orders as a direct result of participating in the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy, in November 2010. Business Oregon provided $2,500 in Oregon Trade Promotion Program funding for this small manufacturer in Southern Oregon to participate in a targeted trade show for the motorcycle industry.

In June 2011, Brammo began manufacturing motorcycles at a plant in Hungary run by its partner and electronics manufacturing giant Flextronics, which has the capacity to churn out 660 motorcycles per month. Brammo and Flextronics signed a manufacturing partnership agreement in September 2010. The facility, located the western Hungarian city of Sárvár, will initially produce the Brammo Enertia and Enertia Plus models for customers in North America, Europe and Asia.

Brammo motorcycles have been featured in many national news magazines such as The Week, Fast Company and Wired where it was selected as one of Wired Magazine's "Top 10" Product launches of 2008!