tric cars that didn’t succeed. The capital markets were flat,
and there was no big government-assistance program or
anything like that. We just mortgaged our lives. By August
2011 we had a prototype, and by January we already had
some successful tests at the car track at Sonoma.
DB: Is there any proprietary technology in the Alta?
MF: There are several patents pending, so I can’t talk
specifically about our technology, but we have an engineer named Rob Sweney who came up with some brilliant
approaches. Our battery has double the power density
of anything else in the industry, and we have the most
advanced drivetrain of all the electric motorcycles out
there. We started with a clean slate. We made our own
electric motor, our own controller and our own power
source. Everything is specifically made for our application.
DB: Is the demand for an electric dirt bike deep enough
to support the company?
MF: It’s not about the demand for an electric bike; it’s
about the demand for the best product available. There are
people who simply want to have the ultimate motocross
bike. If they think it’s the KTM Ryan Dungey replica, they’ll
pay for it. The Alta sells for $15,000, and that’s expensive
but not unheard of. It has zero drivetrain maintenance, so
the cost of ownership is very low after the initial purchase. I
don’t think all customers think about pricing in those terms,
but enough do.
DB: Are you ready for production?
MF: We raised another $4.5 million in Series A funding
(non-public shares) in order to bring our first bikes to production. Our goal is to sell 500 units in 2015, and we’re on
schedule to sell our first ones by the third quarter. ❏