Hum Cycles, a startup that wants to bring the electric-car mania to motorcycles, is getting an undisclosed amount of funding from angel firm One Earth Capital, according to sources who asked to remain anonymous.
The companies have not confirmed the funding.
Hum Cycles, which was a runner-up at the California Clean Tech Open in October, was founded by former Tesla employee Forrest Deuth and others (see California Clean Tech Open Winners Score Cash, Services).
But Hum Cycles has remained fairly mysterious, with a Web site with only a picture of a child riding a mini BMX bike and an e-mail address.
Zero Motorcycles and Vectrix have already released all-electric two-wheelers to the market.
Zero, out of Scotts Valley, Calif., has created an all-electric off-road bike that runs on lithium-ion batteries and is working on a street-legal machine.
Vectrix has a scooter powered by nickel batteries.
Motorcycles provide a few unique opportunities for manufacturers. For one thing, they can be brought to market more quickly because the crash-testing requirements are lower.
They also cost less. The Zero-X is less than $10,000. Brammo, in Oregon, also is in the electric-motorcycle market.
Many motorcycle buyers only buy their cycles for commuting in town or for sport. Thus, the vehicles don’t have to go as far on a single charge.
Electric-car makers have been wrestling with ways to drop the cost of making long-range electric cars. Although electric-car makers say that a market for town cars will exist someday, it hasn’t happened yet.
Electric cycles also are nearly silent, a big benefit over plain motorcycles.