Electric Motorcycle Maker Mission Motors Runs Out Of Juice

Mission Motors, a small company that generated a lot of excitement for its incredible electric motorcycle prototype, has just filed for bankruptcy.

The company developed an electric superbike that could go up to 150 mph and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 3 seconds, but it never managed to put the bike into production.

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Originally called Hum Motors--before renaming itself Mission Motors in 2009--the company divided its electric powertrain and motorcycle parts into a pair of companies in 2013.

Mission Motorcycles was supposed to build electric motorcycles and Mission Motors would focus on electric powertrain projects. However, there hasn’t been much evidence that many bikes were built.

Mission Motorcycles R
Mission Motorcycles R

Mark Seeger, the CEO of Mission Motors, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on October 15, 2015. Neither Mission Motors, nor Mission Motorcycles, is in business any more.

Recently, former Chief Executive Derek Kaufman claimed that Apple successfully courted their drivetrain engineers during a round of financing.

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While numerous media reports speculated that the company's downfall was due to Apple poaching numerous employees, it seems far more likely that employees decided to find better jobs upon realizing Mission Motors was unlikely to be sustainable.

When several key engineers left, the financing fell through and Mission Motors ran out of money.

Mission Motors Mission One electric motorcycle prototype
Mission Motors Mission One electric motorcycle prototype

Of the three employees who moved on from Mission Motors to Apple, two left Mission in 2011 and only one left in 2014.

At least five former Mission engineers now work at Tesla, one software engineer works at Harley Davidson, and four now work at Google.

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Mission Motors worked with Honda’s Mugen racing team at the Isle of Man electric TT race in 2014, which they won with racer John McGuinness.

They also allegedly made the powertrain for the Harley Davidson Livewire electric motorcycles.

Mission Motors Mission One electric motorcycle
Mission Motors Mission One electric motorcycle

In the past year to of the founders of Mission Motors, Vincent Ip and Mark Seeger, had sued each other.

Eventually Seeger claimed he did not have enough money to pay his lawyer, and his lawyer asked to withdraw from representing Mission Motors as a result.

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That seems to be the end of Mission Motors. It came out with an amazing electric motorcycle that cost between $33,000 and $77,000, and still holds the lap record for an electric motorcycle at Laguna Seca Raceway.

However, the company did not manage to move its bikes into the hands of customers.

Mission Motors made a big splash several years ago, but was unable to actually sell its product.


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