It appears that Mission Motors won’t be building a motorcycle after all.
According to Gigaom.com, the company has managed to raise $9 million from private equity firm Warburg Pincus, but won’t be using that to further develop their motorcycle.
Instead, the company will focus on developing electric drivetrain technology to sell to other vehicle manufacturers. You may still see their components on a battery bike, but the machine won’t be built by Mission.
So despite the fact that there’s still lots of information on Mission’s website about the Mission R and Mission One electric superbikes, we can assume those projects are dead if this report is correct. Wired.com reported this week that electric bike innovator Chip Yates is also planning to stop working with battery bikes as well (although he’s going to try to set a new speed record first). Will electric motorcycles end up being just passing tech fad that lasted a couple years, or will they continue to advance, and, as many predict, eventually replace gas bikes, at least in racetrack competition? Are cautious investors, or a lack of personal capital responsible for these moves?
It’s too early to say yet, but it’s unfortunate to see innovators turning away from their creations, just when the electric motorcycle scene was starting to get interesting.