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Current Motor Rolls Out 'Mini-Fleet' Solar Station And Electric Scooters

ANN ARBOR (WWJ) -- Ann Arbor's Current Motor has added the world's coolest solar powered fleet system to its product offerings, which include the world's coolest electric "super scooters."

Current Tuesday introduced what it's calling a "mini-fleet" system, including a solar-powered electric charging station and four super scooters. The price tag: $99,950, which can be offset in many areas by various federal, state and local renewable energy credits.

Current was founded in 2008 and reincorporated last year to pursue the fleet business. Its executive chair is Lauren Flanagan, a nationally known angel investor, veteran of Apple and Next computer, and founder of four software companies. Its investors and board members include auto legend Bob Lutz and entrepreneur Andra Rush, whose Dakkota Integrated Systems is building the scooters.

The Current scooters are zero-emission small motorcycles. With electric direct drive to the wheel, they feature no belts, chains or gears to maintain. Top speeds range from 55 mph for the regular model to 65 mph for the high-performance model. Range per charge is 40 miles for the regular model and 50 miles for the high-performance model. The price for the regular model is $9,995; for the high performance model, it's $11,495.

The fleet system includes three of the standard scooters and one of the high-performance models, plus the solar charging station.

In a press event Tuesday, Flanagan said the fleet system is targeted at the "campus transportation market" -- college and corporate campuses. Also, municipalities and first responders could use the scooters to get to accident or disaster scenes quickly and easilyi, she said.

Flanagan said Current already has orders for the fleet systems around the world, including installations headed for Brazil and China.

Under the fleet option, the scooters will be branded with the fleet organization's logo and messaging, and can be customized with a variety of delivery, carrying and security options.

The solar charging station fits in a standard parking spot. While the solar charging station can be anchored for additional security, no trenching is required, and it can be moved with a forklift or truck capable of carrying about 15,000 pounds.

The charging station is designed to get a full charge on eight hours of reasonably bright daylight, and can charge the four scooters in less than six hours with an onboard 22-kilowatt-hour battery.

The mobile solar charging station can also be delivered branded, and can be customized with a variety of communications and security options. If installed permanently, it can also be tied to the grid.

Telematics are also included in the mini-fleet offering, including on-board 3G communications and GPS location. Also, the minifleet dashboards and reports can be customized to track carbon savings, emissions reductions and fleet performance data.

"Current Motor mini-fleets are self-contained and are delivered to the customer site
ready to use," Flanagan said. "Our mini-fleet uses 100 percent renewable, clean, solar generated electricity to power our zero emissions Super Scooters, making them among the most sustainable fleet options available, andideal for corporate, campus, event or municipal use. If our Super Scooters are powered principally by the solar charging station, you may never have to pay to fuel them."

Annual service contracts are also available.

Flanagan said Current currently has about 10 employees and plans to add about five more in 2014.

The scooters are manfactured by Dakkota, a joint venture of Rush and the auto supplier Magna. The scooters are built at a union plant in Holt, near Lansing. Flanagan said the plant has the capacity to build about 10,000 of the scooters a year.

Current Motor is backed by Flanagan's Belle Capital, the state of Michigan and other private equity investors.

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