Saturday, August 20, 2016

Taking A Look Inside The Alta Electric Motorcycle Factory

On the shores of San Francisco Bay, just south of San Francisco, Alta Motors is getting ready to begin selling its all electric Redshift MX motocross bike to professional racers. Priced at $14,995, the Redshift MX is designed to give fine tuned control to the most demanding off road rider. In an environment where the tires are constantly gaining and losing traction, that control is a huge advantage says Alta co-founder and CEO Marc Fenigstein. A street legal version of the bike, dubbed the Redshift SM, will be available in a few months and will cost just $500 more.
Alta  Motors manufactures all the components of the bike itself, except for tires, wheels, brakes, and suspension. “Everything we’ve done in-house we’ve been able to do faster, cheaper, and at higher output than outsourced. The hardest part is bringing up a supply chain that delivers all 460 parts that we need on time on quality and on cost.” Tesla Motors is another California electric vehicle manufacturer that is following a similar “made in-house” formula.
Other electric motorcycle companies have burst on the scene, only to flame out and fall back to earth fairly rapidly. What makes Alta Motors different is its proprietary battery technology. Since it started in business in 2010, it has designed and built its own batteries using cells sourced from various world manufacturers.
Fenigstein says one of the things that’s makes the Redshift special is that its battery has 80 percent more range per pound than is available with any other electric motorcycle. The battery weighs only 70 lbs put packs 5.8 kWh of power, according to Alta Motors CTO and co-founder Derek Dorresteyn. That is a better ratio than for just about any other battery powered vehicle on earth and on a par with Tesla Motors.
The hidden beauty of an electric motorcycle is that it requires far less maintenance than a gas powered machine. Oil and filter changes, motor repairs, and the like are all a thing of the past, so owners can spend more time riding and less time wrenching. One of Alta Motors’ most prominent backers is Martin Eberhard, an original founder of Tesla Motors and a renowned battery technology engineer.
Within 3 years, Alta plans to be selling the Redshift and other all-electric products internationally. Dorresteyn and Fenigstein decline to say exactly what other vehicles Alta may develop and when, but they do acknowledge their technology could work in scooters and smaller motorcycles. The demand for those vehicles in China, India, and the rest of Asia is enormous and growing stronger by the day.
Sourec: TechCrunch

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