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Ascend Motors

Electric motorcycles with breakthrough range and safety features

San Francisco CA

Highlights

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🔋Our custom battery geometry and proprietary battery management system unlock 30% greater range
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💰Backed by investors and executives from a16z, Tesla, Anduril, Zoox, MongoDB, Slack, Levels, & more
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📈We are positioned to become the Tesla of the 140B power-sports industry
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🚨We've received 125 deposits for our first model and signed LOIs with 5 police departments
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🤖Advised by industry and academic titans at the forefront of battery technology
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🔩Team has 30+ years of experience building motorcycles
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🤩Closely advised by Mission Motors and LiveWire alumni

Our Team

We're obsessed with transportation for the individual and the degree to which electric drivetrains can be improved. Our founding team uses motorcycles as our primary mode of transportation, and sees the emerging wave of electrification, held back with a number of technological limitations that we're precisely positioned to solve.

We're Ascend Motors

The electrification of motor vehicles is a growing trend, and there have been many emerging ventures and startups attempting to build electric vehicles. This includes incumbents such as Ford, GM and Tesla building cars and trucks, as well as more recent EV startups.

The growth of this market is apparent, however there is a lack of a centralized energy management operating system to support the electrification and power management of these vehicles. Every major venture has their own in-house mechanism, with an over dependence on third party battery manufacturers. Even disregarding this, there is an emphasis on the utility of “hardware only” approaches to build better vehicles, and insufficient attention allocated towards the software layer that dictates the modulation of energy.

We apply our core technology to a large and nascent subdomain within the EV industry: electric motorcycles. Electric motorcycles present an unprecedented improvement in riding performance and precision, but are held back from mass market adoption due to their high price, heavy weight, and limited driving range.

WHY NOW?

The electric vehicle market in the United States has grown from a few thousand vehicles in 2010 to more than 315,000 vehicles sold annually from 2018 to 2020. Motorcycle riders will inevitably follow this trend, as electric motorcycles are more performant, precise, and maintainable than their gas-powered counterparts.

Moreover, motorcycle manufacturers are 5-10 years behind cars in introducing quality-of-life features such as keyless ignition, GPS-enabled theft prevention, blindspot detection, cloud connectivity, and integration with a mobile application. Focusing on the customer, rather than building loud engines, allows us to deliver the same quality of user experiences that people have come to expect from consumer software applications.

CORE TECHNOLOGY

We are building the infrastructure and the operating system for the general purpose electrification of vehicles. This includes better cell management software, optimizations in the battery performance level (input and output) by utilizing software and constant monitoring mechanisms. We couple our energy management software with our custom power trains and battery packs, and eventually plan to incorporate improvements in batteries chemistries as they become commercially available.

OUR INITIAL PRODUCT

We plan on using our core technology stack and apply them in building smart electric motorcycles.

Our first product is a street legal, electric motorcycle with industry-leading ergonomics, range, and spatially-aware safety features. We apply simultaneous-localization mapping (SLAM) to deliver immediate feedback to the driver when danger is pertinent (our application of which is patent-pending). Moreover, our approach to energy management allows for unprecedented range for a motorcycle in our weight class.

    • Lithium-ion batteries with higher silicon-to-graphite ratios for higher energy density. Our motorcycles will have 200-mile range (combined city and highway range), compared to the industry-leading range of 100-150 miles.
    • DC fast-charging capability to charge the bike from 0-80% in 35 minutes, compared to conventional charging times that take hours.
    • Augment the driver’s spacial awareness with sonar-powered blindspot and rear-end detection with tactile feedback.

    Check out our video demo of our working prototype!

     

    OUR TEAM

    Kunal Shah: Founder and CEO at compose.ai, Engineer at Levels Health, Founding team and engineering lead at On Deck.

    Vishnu Srinivasan: CoFounder and CTO at Tap, Product and Engineering at Sym, Pallet, Athelas and Abbvie, analyst JP Morgan, Investing at Contrary Capital and Soma.

    Alex Trevizo (Hardware Engineer): Lead Mechanic and general manager at Moto Guild.

    Advisors

    Sanjay Dastoor: Founder and CEO at Skip Scooters, Boosted Board.

    Wes Chang: Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Columbia University, PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University

    Zachary Rubin: Built electric motorcycles at Mission Motors and Livewire.

    Eliot Horowitz: CEO at Viam, Co-founder of MongoDB

    Faraz Khan: Founder at Screenhero (acq. by Slack), built the first electric car in Pakistan in 2006.

     

    WHY WE WILL WIN

    Our team holds diverse sets of expertise and and is positioned to build and lead a leading mobility company for decades to come. We are a fast-moving set of builders with deeply technical and scientific backgrounds.

    Our founders, Kunal and Vishnu, have held founding and leadership roles at growing companies. Kunal led the product and engineering efforts at On Deck, where he was a founding teammate, built a team and led the vision for compose.ai, which participated in YC W21, and was the product lead for In-App Social Features at Levels Health. Vishnu was an early employee at Athelas, Sym, and Pallet, and focused his grad school research on techniques to mitigate energy usage for computation in drones and other such vehicles. He has also worked on projects/research areas focusing on low energy computation.

    Our lead hardware engineer, Alex, runs Motoguild, one of the most prolific motorcycle shops in California, and has been building motorcycles for the past twenty years.

    Wes Chang, our battery technology advisor, is a post-doc research scientist at Caltech and incoming Assistant Professor at Drexel University. Wes received his PhD from Princeton, where he worked on ultrasonic characterization of batteries.

    Finally, Zach Rubin specifically built electric motorcycles at LiveWire and Mission Motors and constructed a winning electric motorcycle build for the famed Isle of Man race, one of the most trying motorcycle courses in the world.

     

    THE MARKET

    We plan to first address the premium motorcycle market, followed by adjacent markets to which we can apply our vertical stack of custom battery packs and energy modulation software, such as e-bikes, drones, and ATVs.

    The global motorcycle market size was valued at $119.33 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from $127 billion in 2022 to $223 billion by 2029.

    The global electric motorcycle market was valued at $15.92 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $30.5 billion in 2030, registering a CAGR of 7.4% (2020-2030).

    The e-bike market was valued at $27.22 billion in 2021, and is projected to reach $54.48 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 12.26% (2022-2027).

    The global ATV and UTV market was valued at $7.6 billion in 2017, and is projected to reach $11.95 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 6.7% (2020-2027)

    The global unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) drone market was valued at $26.3 billion in 2021, and is projected to reach $41.3 billion in 2026, registering a CAGR of 9.4% (2021-2026)

    COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES

     

    ROADMAP

    We have currently started our work on building better algorithms and methods for energy management at a software level and are looking into building smart sensors that work hand in hand with the motorcycles we build. Additionally, we are starting on our operating system/dashboard for energy management in vehicles soon after and expect this to be done by August of 2022.

    In regards to the motorcycle production and build, the timeline below showcases our timeline for the same.

    Feb - May 2022: Build a functional prototype that acts as a proof of concept in regards to mileage, top speed, acceleration and charging metrics.

    May 2022 - Feb 2023: Build a vehicle that validates the design and is highway safe and ready. Has advanced safety features, fully functional with the proof of concept methods integrated. Procure deposits for 1000 sales.

    Feb 2023 - Aug 2024: Build a production batch of 1000 motorcycles, and sell for $26,000 each, for a total of $26m in revenue. Begin prototyping ATVs, drones, and e-bikes with our existing battery management stack and powertrain.

    Overview