In conjunction with its announcement that Forrest North has stepped down as CEO of Mission Motors, the San Francisco based company is also announcing that the delivery dates for the Mission One electric superbike have been pushed back from Q4 of 2010 to Q2 of 2011. Mission Motors attributes the deadline push-back to the unforeseen economic collapse in both the motorcycle industry as well as in the capital markets. Despite these setbacks, the company is still on track to deliver the Mission One in a timeframe quicker than or equal to the industry norm, and has also revealed that an addition to the Mission One (which we’ll dub the Mission Two until we hear otherwise) will be announced later this year.
Talking to interim-CEO Jit Bhattacharya about the difficulties in bringing the Mission One to market in the economic recession, he explained that “[Mission Motors'] target originally to deliver the Mission One was to deliver it by the end of this year . But when we first set out on that endeavor, we never saw 2009 coming. The recession created new hurdles for every company out there big and small, created new challenges for us, and while we’re getting past that, and we’ve continued the development process, it did affect the development schedule. So we’re now looking to deliver the first Mission One’s in the second quarter of 2011 instead of the end of this year.”
When asked what remained to get the Mission One to market and in customers’ hands, Bhattacharya explained that “the Mission One is a prototype of the vehicle that will be on the road. To take it from a prototype to actual commercialization takes a significant amount of engineering, significant amount of testing, and a significant amount of design to make sure its meeting your cost targets and reliability targets…on top of that you have to get certified by the NHTSA. So what we have right now is a prototype that proves our performance more than anything else, and now we have to go through the rest of those engineering and manufacturing hurdles in order to produce a vehicle that riders can ride out on the road.”
Talking about the “Mission Two”, Bhattacharya along with co-founder and President Edward West explained to us that the next iteration of motorcycles from Mission Motors will feature a lower price, while still retaining the high performance the startup company is becoming known for; however it was clear that the “Mission Two” will have less power than the Mission One.
Expected to be officially announced at some point this year, Mission Motors has not decided who will design their next production motorcycle. Early indications however seem to indicate that the “Mission Two” will follow lines more easily recognized in the industry already, rather than the cutting edge stylings found on the Mission One, which were created by Yves Behar and fuseproject.
While we’re still a long way away from seeing the “Mission Two” (we’ll try and break into MM HQ and steal some design sketches), the hinting of the bike’s introduction into the product line-up is a sign of not only Mission Motors’ new outlook on focusing on producing affordable consumer motorcycles, but also of the rapidly changing landscape in the electric motorcycle realm. More on this as we get it.