Zero not afraid of major manufacturers
Zero Motorcycles' CEO, Sam Paschel, says he is confident that the Californian brand can remain a major player in the future electric motorbike market, despite increased development from the established manufacturers.
With BMW recently revealing details of their striking Vision DC Roadster boxer-electric concept and Ducati currently developing their electric technology for the future, Paschel remains confident and insists that Zero will remain competitive, thanks to years of development, despite their relatively small size.
In an exclusive interview with MCN, Paschel said: "We've been the brand that's actually created this category and has been the flag-bearer and protagonist for electric motorcycles, so we knew that the market wouldn't remain ours and ours alone.
"From a competition standpoint, of course they're going to become competitors, but we've got a 13-year head start and millions of miles of experience. These are very different and very challenging problems to solve. So, I'm confident that in a growing market, where we have other major brands stepping up and helping to push it forward, that we'll get more than our fair share of whatever market is created, as we have a competitive edge."
Despite welcoming the competition, Paschel is concerned that a half-hearted effort from a major manufacturer might actually damage people’s opinions on electric bikes.
"My only hope is that they're serious. The thing that could be detrimental is [manufacturers] figuring out some of the challenges, whilst running an existing petroleum motorcycle business that they’re fundamentally competing with.
"If they don't see success right away or they run into technical challenges, or they slow down, or they quit, or they pull back, or they stuff the market with a bunch of electric bikes that are all discounted they could do a lot of harm. I hope they take it seriously and I hope they care about making the change."