Current Motors (clever name) of Ann Arbor, Michigan just got a healthy cash infusion, as General Motors’s former Vice Chairman (and avid motorcycle collector), Bob Lutz, just dropped a check off for $1.5 million to the electric scooter manufacturer. While money is well and good, and we imagine the folks at Current are more than amped (oh yes, we just did that) about getting money during these tough capital-raising markets, the real electrifying news here is that the charismatic executive will be taking a seat on the company’s advisory board.
With a resumé that includes names like GM, Ford, Chrysler, and BMW, Lutz’s insights on bringing vehicles to market and overall business acumen will be a huge boon for this relatively unknown startup, and could easily galvanize other investors into investing in the company.
“I’ve dedicated my career to bringing electric vehicles to the mainstream,” said Lutz, who was instrumental in bringing about the Chevy Volt electric car. “Investing in Current Motor affords the opportunity to work with an exciting start-up that has a great product with significant potential to influence consumer transportation. The Current Motor line of electric motor scooters show tremendous promise and are fun to ride.”
Current Motors offers three models for 2011, the Economy C124E ($6,499, 55 mph top speed, 30 mile range), the Standard C124 ($6,999, 55 mph, 40 miles), and the Deluxe 130 ($7,999, 65 mph, 50 miles). An early-adopter pilot program is currently being rolled out, which sees early buyers getting a $2,000 rebate on the purchase price of a Current Motors electric scooter (in exchange for some feedback via social media).
Current Motors realizes that the first year of being on the market will see the scooter’s design improved upon radically, and wanted to reward, instead of penalize, consumers who were willing to try the company’s product early on, knowing that improvements would be made down the line. Of course lowering your price point also helps induce people into just about any purchasing decision, but we digress.
While a lot remains to be seen about this company, the investment by Lutz and his involvement with the venture is likely raising more than a few eyebrows in the industry. We imagine a company in Ashland, Oregon is taking note as well.