Led by Elisabeth Post, North Holland vice governor, the delegation spent a week in California exploring the state’s electric vehicle marketplace.
The group first had a booth at the Electric Vehicle Symposium that ran May 6 to 9 in Los Angeles, where it promoted the Netherlands as an ideal country for companies to invest as partners in zero-emissions vehicles.
From Los Angeles, the group drove north to visit Zero’s Scotts Valley headquarters and factory May 10 before a visit to Tesla in Fremont.
“I do think electric mobility is the future,” Post said shortly after test driving one of Zero’s street bikes.
She noted that e-mobility — the term the Dutch delegation used to describe electric transportation — was especially viable in Holland, because most people travel less than 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) to work each day.
Post said she enjoyed her ride on one of Zero’s latest models.
“It accelerates very, very fast,” said Post, an experienced motorcycle rider. “Doing that without a sound is — it’s unusual, especially when you’re used to driving a motorbike.”
Zero opened its European headquarters in Amsterdam in 2009.
The delegation also toured Zero’s factory, which switched from a cell manufacturing approach to a production line approach six months ago with the arrival of Mark Kennedy, the company’s vice president of manufacturing and logistics.
Today, the company of 75 employees produces eight or nine motorcycles each day. All are sold, according to Kennedy, before they reach the end of the line.
As part of the Netherlands delegation’s visit to Zero, Scotts Valley Mayor Donna Lind presented Post a key to the city.
In turn, Post gave Lind and Karl Wharton, Zero’s chief operating officer, framed artwork that represents northern Holland.
Attending the event were Santa Cruz County Supervisor Mark Stone, City Manager Steve Ando, several City Council members, Sharolynn Ullestad from the Chamber of Commerce, and Lt. John Hohmann from the Scotts Valley Police Department.
The group’s trip also included stops at University of California, Davis; University of California, Los Angeles; the California Energy Commission in Sacramento; and Coulomb Technologies, a leader in electric vehicle-charging technology.
Zero’s bikes have developed rapidly since the company was founded in 2006.
In 2011, the motorcycles offered increased the range from 43 miles per charge to 113 miles per charge. The product line in 2012 expanded to include two street bikes, two dirt bikes and a dual sport bike. The company’s goal is to have 2 million of its motorcycles on the road in 2017.
For information: www.zeromotorcycles.com