February 4, 2009 Mission Motors emerged from stealth start-up mode at TED2009 today, unveiling a truly landmark motorcycle and one which will no doubt be creating rumblings through every motorcycle manufacturer in the world as you read this. The Mission One is almost certainly the world's fastest production all-electric motorcycle, but at the same time catapults electric motorcycles into contention as genuine sports motorcycles. With a top speed of 150 MPH and a range of 150 miles, the Mission One rivals existing sportbikes, but it's the torque of the electric motor which will make ALL the difference - 100 lb-ft from 0 rpm all the way to 6500 rpm – by comparison, a 2009 Yamaha YZF-R1 produces 85 lb-ft at 10,000 rpm and the torquiest motorcycle on the market, the 2.3 litre Triumph Rocket III, produces 147 lb-ft.
The following is based almost exclusively on the press release which is all the information we have available (plus see Autoblog Green link at bottom of release and the RideMission web site): Mission Motors CEO, Forrest North, along with lead designer Yves Béhar, founder of fuseproject, will present the vehicle in development onstage to the TED audience this evening (February 4). Mission Motors will exhibit the vehicle throughout the conference at the Kohler LivingHome at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, and will be on hand to discuss the company's vision for a radically new brand of motorcycles. The company will also provide attendees the opportunity to see inside the product development process through the installation of a motorcycle design studio inside the Kohler LivingHome.
"The Great Unveiling," the TED2009 theme, makes a fitting platform for the launch of Mission Motors' first vehicle, the Mission One. It is the first production electric sportbike that features uncompromised performance and an iconic new design created by world-renowned designers Yves Béhar and fuseproject.
With a top speed of 150 MPH and an estimated range of 150 miles, the Mission One rivals gasoline sportbikes while dwarfing the performance of any other electric motorcycle on the market. The electric drivetrain creates a riding experience unlike anything currently available on a production vehicle. The electric motor's linear torque curve provides peak torque at zero rpm, a feature gasoline engines cannot match. The motor delivers faster acceleration than most gasoline sportbikes without ever having to shift gears.
The announcement formally debuts Mission Motors, a San Francisco-based company geared to redefine the world of performance motorcycles, which was founded in 2007 by entrepreneurs Forrest North (CEO), Edward West (President), and Mason Cabot (VP of Engineering).
Building on their backgrounds in engineering, a desire to develop clean vehicles, and a passion for motorcycles, the Mission Motors founders developed a proprietary high energy lithium ion battery pack that could provide both the range and acceleration needed for a high performance sportbike. The company (named Hum Cycles at the time) placed second in the transportation category of the 2007 California Cleantech Open, the largest cleantech business plan competition on the West Coast.
"As a motorcycle enthusiast and engineer I knew I could combine my passion for motorcycles with my passion for innovation and create a motorcycle that truly sets a new standard in the perception of electric vehicles," said Forrest North, Founder and CEO, Mission Motors. "With the Mission One, we're writing the next chapter in motorcycle design, delivering a new riding experience without sacrificing performance or design in a zero emissions vehicle."
With core engineering underway and an attractive business model, North and his co-founders turned to Yves Béhar's fuseproject to create Mission's unique brand and creative direction, as well as an iconic industrial design for the first product. The engineering team at Mission Motors and the design team at fuseproject worked in close collaboration to design the Mission One from the ground up, creating a machine that makes a bold statement about performance, technology, sustainability and design.
"This project was a dream come true: a statement about how design can make performance and sustainability come together without compromise," said Yves Béhar. "I believe Mission is an icon for a new era of efficient and exciting vehicles. Designed to express speed and efficiency in it's overall sharp lines, the Mission bike is also highly detailed with special attention to a riders needs, bringing a high level of product design and ergonomics to a new generation of performance transportation." ENDS
Autobloggreen got the scoop, reporting, “To bring this amazing machine to market, Forrest North and his two co-founders, Edward West and Mason Cabot, have assembled a real dream team with incredible depth and experience and whose resumés list companies like Tesla Motors, Ducati and Google. The first 50 bikes produced will be a special Limited Edition model delivered in 2010 bearing a $68,995 price tag, while a standard, more affordable Mission One will be announced this summer. If the goal of this company was to create a paradigm-busting object of desire, then we say, "Mission accomplished." ENDS
Founded in 1999 by Yves Behar, fuseproject develops cohesive brand and product experiences. With a focus on establishing new markets and disrupting old ones, the company takes a long-term strategic approach to developing and enhancing its clients' business, with teams spanning brand & market strategy, identity & naming, packaging design, product development and communications design.