Zero Motorcycles Raises Another $17 Million To Make More Electric Bikes Domestically

Zero Motorcycles in Santa Cruz, Calif. today revealed that Invus, LP, the company’s earliest financial backers, have invested another $17 million in the business, with potential to add $9 million more over coming months.

The capital will go towards expanding the Zero’s U.S. operations, primarily, and towards expanding the company’s global sales efforts, research and development, according to a company press statement. Invus, LP invested in Zero Motorcycles in April 2008 and has remained the company’s principal investor.

Zero’s DS motorcycles are highway legal and safe for off-road bike paths, but drive quietly thanks to an all-electric drivetrain, so they are viewed as advantageous for use by urban law enforcement. All of Zero’s bikes have lithium-ion batteries that are fully recyclable, and according to the company website:

“[The bikes] will produce less than one-eighth of the CO2 pollution per mile at the power plant than a gas-powered motorcycle. It will also produce 1/100th of the smog causing nitrous oxides.”

The company’s founder, Neal Saiki, recently announced he was leaving the company to pursue another clean tech and transportation breakthrough: the first successful flight of a human-powered helicopter via the The Igor Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition. The competition is run by the American Helicopter Society International with a $250,000 prize provided by Sikorsky Aircraft.