Electric motorcycle maker Brammo raises $28 million

American electric motorcycle maker Brammo raises $28 million from investors for the development of its powertrain tech. Leading the charge: powersports giant Polaris.

Ashland, Ore.-based electric motorcycle manufacturer Brammo announced on Wednesday that it has raised $28 million from investors to boost development of electric powertrain technology.

Leading the charge was investor Polaris Industries, a powersports giant that makes all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and road-legal electric vehicles.

I recall inviting Polaris CEO Scott Wine to SmartPlanet's New York City headquarters way back in February 2010; at the time, we discussed some of his company innovations under development, including military vehicles that can shrug off small arms fire and his company's entry into sustainability, from supply chain simplification to the company's first electric vehicles, launched in 2009.

"We’re not going to buy something to get bigger; we’re going to buy something to get better, faster," he said when I asked him about future acquisitions.

That time is now.

The deal extends Brammo's powertrain technology to different vehicle types much in the way that Tesla supplies Toyota with its all-electric powertrain. It gives Polaris -- inventor of the first commercial snowmobile and the market leader for its various segments -- a leg up on EV technology that it knows will replace the Swiss-developed four-stroke engines it traditionally uses.

It also gives Brammo more places to reap revenues for its R&D efforts. The company has dabbled in off-road vehicles before, with its Encite motorcycle, but cooperation with Polaris opens the door for more applications.

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