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Zero Motorcycles raises $26 million; ramps up U.S. production

Zero Motorcycles raises $26 million; ramps up U.S. production

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Electric bike maker Zero Motorcycles lands $26 million in investments to ramp up American production and expand sales overseas.

Zero Motorcycles, manufacturer of all-electric bikes, announced on Thursday that it raised $26 million in additional financing from investors.

The round was led by Invus, the company's principal investor since 2008. Financing closed on March 3 with $17 million invested and the potential for an additional $9 million over the coming months.

Zero said it planned to use the funds to ramp up U.S.-based production and expand its global sales presence.

The Santa Cruz, Calif.-based company also said it would continue to commit "significant" resources to research and development as it pertains to its electric drivetrain technology.

"[We] are building the leading supply chain in the industry through our own efforts and our partnering with world-class suppliers," CEO Gene Banman said in a statement. "The company has the strong financial footing it needs to expand the business and move the state of electric motorcycle development rapidly forward."

Are we ready to say goodbye to the gas-powered motorcycle? It's still too early -- but once Zero and companies like it smooth out the wrinkles in the electric powertrain, perhaps we'll see electric bikes that don't necessary look like props from Blade Runner.

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Andrew Nusca

Editor Emeritus

Andrew Nusca is editor of SmartPlanet and an associate editor for ZDNet. Previously, he worked at Money, Men's Vogue and Popular Mechanics magazines. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and New York University. He is based in New York but resides in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure