Mission Motors, whose Mission One motorbike is the fastest electric bike on the market, has introduced a new division for selling electric and hybrid vehicle powertrain components for use in other vehicles.
Mission’s new program, MissionEVT, which has been rumored for months, is a big change for the company if only because of the scope of the idea. Along with electric motors, the company will supply lithium-ion batteries (and all the ancillary electronics needed to charge and maintain them), controller hardware and the management software that makes everything tick–either as complete drivetrain blocks, or as OEM components. Mission’s new “MissionEVT” program will even include offering “engineering and integration services” to aid with adaption of a vehicle to cope with Mission’s gear.
Mission has already snagged two big-name customers who will shoehorn Mission’s EV drive tech into prototype vehicles, but CEO Jit Bhattacharya is keeping the names secret. He did reveal that the plan is to put Mission’s equipment into a far more diverse set of vehicles than the motorbikes that were responsible for Mission’s early fame.
Why the change in tack, though? Mission has built up its reputation with the Mission One motorbike, and you may think trying to become a gray-box supplier to other EV manufacturers is a big departure for its business model. Partly the expansion is driven by necessity: The Mission One bike, despite its fame, has suffered delay after delay, and its delivery date as a consumer vehicle has shifted from late 2011 to an undetermined date–Mission has to evolve to stay in business. (Earlier this month Tesla Motors inked a deal to supply its powertrain to Toyota vehicles.) The market is also shifting, and there is unquestionably a growing interest in EV tech among the general public. And federal regulations which are putting the squeeze on conventional car tech and push electric or hybrid vehicle tech forward are also playing a big part.
The hope is that some of Mission’s super-fast know-how will get injected into novel hybrids like the half-motorbike, half-Smart car Nissan EV, or even special versions of the Mercedes Smart car, expected to launch as an EV next year.