Zero Motorcycles was recently awarded a $900,000 grant from the California Energy Commission to begin development of a new advanced compact electric powertrain project. Additional matching funds from the city of Santa Cruz, and other contributors brings the total allotment to more than $1,840,000.


The 2010 Zero S. Click to enlarge.

Zero’s next generation powertrain technology will be developed near its headquarters in the city of Santa Cruz. As part of this program, Zero will work with existing partners and electric drivetrain component suppliers.

The California Energy Commission grant funding is subject to final contract negotiations and approval by the CEC Board.

Zero Motorcycles was recently awarded a US patent for the battery interconnect system used to power its line of motorcycles. First integrated into production models in 2006, this interconnect system is low resistance, flexible and rugged. The patented technology allows Zero to create high power density packs that operate at maximum efficiency under extreme loads with passive air-cooling.

The current Zero S uses a brushed permanent magnet electric motor, powered by a 4 kWh Li-ion array. Range is up to 50 miles (80 km).