Scotts Valley-based Zero Motorcycles announced last month that it signed its first distributor in eastern Asia while recently delivering 59 Zero S 2012 motorcycles to the Hong Kong government.
The motorcycles will be used for patrolling and special event purposes in Hong Kong with a small number going to Hong Kong airport police and traffic enforcement.
“It’s pleasant to see the superior interest we are seeing in the police and security business,” said John Lloyd, Zero’s director of global sales. Lloyd said the company hopes to also complete a deal with a government in South American in the near future. He could not disclose which country they are working with, except to say the government has “publically announced it is doing everything green.”
The Hong Kong deal is the single-largest fleet sale to date for Zero which recently moved its headquarters and manufacturing to a larger location at 380 El Pueblo Road in Scotts Valley. The Zero S is a fully electric motorcycle with a range of approximately 89 miles and a top speed of 88 miles per hour.
“We were awarded the contract in December and delivered them in May,” Lloyd said. All the manufacturing was done in Scotts Valley.
Zero’s international presence is growing. The company has an existing distribution center in the Netherlands and has now partnered with Yuen Ho Trading Company, Ltd. based in Hong Kong. Yuen Ho facilitated the deal between Zero and the Hong Kong government.
The deal came about, Lloyd said, because Zero was impressed with Hong Kong’s efforts to “go green” and learned about the governments request for proposals relating to electric motorcycles. Zero worked with Yuen Ho, which had a strong relationship with the government already, to complete the government proposal process, and eventually won the contract.
“Hong Kong has had initiatives in place, in that they are turning their power generation into clean power generation,” Lloyd said.
He noted the electric motorcycles are ideal fits for governments because they send a message to the population that the government is serious about clean energy.
“Policing is about community interaction,” Lloyd said, noting the bikes can be used to patrol rural areas without making much noise, or as crowd-control vehicles at sporting events and large community gatherings. “It’s a pleasant statement to give to a community while patrolling. Law enforcement can show up and face one hundred thousand-plus and people are happy to see them.”
Zero’s prospects are good, Lloyd said. The company has three pillars to its business model: sales to the public, the fast-growing security segment and a powertrain business. Companies are beginning to utilize Zero’s proprietary powertrain technology outside of simple motorcycle use.