Brammo to open Portland R&D facility
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Brammo Inc. is looking for real estate to open a small research and development office in Portland, reconfirming the growing company's commitment to being a part of the Oregon electric vehicle cluster.
Brammo Inc., the growing maker of electric motorcycles, will open a Portland research and development facility to take advantage of the growing cache of electric vehicle technology expertise that's developing around the city.
Armed with a $50,000 grant from Drive Oregon, the state-funded industry support organization for the electric vehicle cluster, Brammo is looking for its Portland home, what officials characterize as a small research and development facility focused on motor and battery technology.
The Ashland-based company expects to have about a dozen engineers employed in Portland by the end of 2013.
"Certain areas on the West Coast have developed as hot spots in the electric vehicle industry and Portland is certainly one of those," said Brian Wismann, director of product development.
Wismann said the Portland location will help Brammo attract top engineering talent, snagging engineers who might not have been willing to move to the company's headquarters in Southern Oregon. The Portland location may also host some of the electric engine development work Brammo is doing in partnership with its investor Polaris Industries. The strategic partnership with Polaris was struck in 2011.
Venture backed and growing quickly, Brammo in July closed on a $13 million investment, the first part of what is expected to be a $45 million series C funding round.
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He added that the $50,000 Drive Oregon grant to support the expansion was a big part of the decision.
"Being a small company, we haven't gotten the kind of government support that Fisker and Tesla have," Wismann said. "It's nice to be wanted."
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