RIP Current Motor Company

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PJD
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RIP Current Motor Company

The Current Motor Company has been out of the business of selling their scooters to the consumer for a few years now They have been focusing on their hare-brained "mini-fleet-in-a-solar-shipping-container" product - I would not be surprised of they did not finding a single customer for them.

But I noticed that their website has been taken down and nothing on their Facebook Page from anyone in Current Motor since October 2017.

So I think we can make it official and declare CuMoCo dead-dead-dead.

But if they are dead, surely they have some stock and physical assets to liquidate? And I cant seem to find any evidence of a bankruptcy filing....

I'll leave a note on their Facebook page and see what happens.

Paul D.

PJD
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Re: RIP Current Motor Company

Update... I left a post on their Facebook page but it was apparently removed or is being held by the page owner.

pluginride
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Re: RIP Current Motor Company

Here's what I know -

1. Current Motor was in dire need of money in 2011 and got it from an early-stage VC firm named "Belle Capital". Unfortunately, the founders (J. Harding and E. Kauppi) gave up control of the company in the deal, and when the new management (headed by Lauren Flanagan, a principal at Belle) proved to be incompetent they were powerless to do anything about it. Harding was forced out in 2012, and after that it was all down hill. Kauppi, the engineer and inventor, stayed on until the money ran out in 2017.

2. Under Flanagan's leadership the company just kept doing one stupid thing after another and never marketed the bikes in any meaningful way - they were too busy posturing and trying to "look successful". They threw money (and valuable time) down the drain pursuing a relationship with an outsourced manufacturing company (Dakota something) that was supposed to raise the build quality of the bikes and streamline production. That would have made perfect sense if they were straining to keep up with demand and maintain quality - but they weren't at that point yet (far from it). I mean, if you've got your own shop and you're not selling many bikes, why do you need someone else to make them for you? One reason might be money - so, did this new partner pony up some investment capital in return for the relationship? Nope. Then Flanagan did the same thing with Dell, whereby Dell "provided" the sophisticated cloud-based ride telematic system that was supposed to make the C-series (C124, C130) bikes, if they ever got around to actually selling them, really cool. In fact, the Dell tech was cool - but instead of selling that version of the bike to waiting customers they decided instead to go back to the drawing board and re-design the whole bike from the ground up - new chassis, plastics, everything. Did Dell invest in the company? I don't think so. The "test pilot" program from the pre-Flanagan days was neglected and faded away. Customers with problems were ignored. Bob Lutz got tired and moved on - Flanagan didn't try to stop him, presumably because she thought she didn't need him. Bob Lutz! The website dropped the bike configurator and the customer order function - so, you literally could not order a bike from them anymore. No dealer network was set up. Eventually, the website turned into static brochureware. The newly-designed bike, oddly named the "Nb", (and curiously referred to as a "cargo scooter") seemed to be pretty good - but, again, instead of SELLING IT to customers Flanagan decided to make it part of a package called, "Mini-fleet-in-a-Box" consisting of four Nb scooters in a shipping container that had solar cells on its roof. The idea was that the container could be shipped or towed to remote locations and set up to re-charge the scooters inside. I know what you're thinking - "Wha..wha...what?" But, yes, this was thought to be a good business idea... INSTEAD OF SELLING BIKES TO RIDERS! When in December, 2015, someone posted the question (referring to the Nb scooter), "How can US consumers get this?" on the company's Facebook page, the company replied, "we sell to fleets and businesses".

3. They tried to sell this idiotic "Mini Fleet in a Box" to MINING companies in Brazil. That's right, folks - Brazilian mining companies. Hey, if you're starting a mine, you're gonna need a box of electric motorcycles, right? And maybe a motorboat, too.

4. At some point they tried to sell the box with the solar panels, minus the scooters, as a separate "mobile energy" product. THAT'S A WHOLE NOTHER F-ING BUSINESS. And a lousy one, at that.

5. They eventually stopped paying their employees (who left), their taxes, their rent, and their web hosting bills. And yet during this time they still solicited their existing investors for more money. WC Fields was right.

6. Check out Belle Capital - just about every other enterprise they've "backed" has gone belly-up.

PJD
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Re: RIP Current Motor Company

Yes, I know that under Ms. Flanagan, Current Motor was totally mismanaged. But I an still curious as to the why John Harding dropped off the face of the earth in this forum. I assume that was was under a gag order as part of a severance package of some sort. Is this correct?

And ultimately, I'm interested in finding John Harding so I can contact him about possible technical information. Also, I'd love to find out if there is a cache of spare C124/C130 parts (BMS and BCU's in particular) squirreled away in Ann Arbor somewhere.

pluginride
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Re: RIP Current Motor Company

I don't know if there is/was any gag order, but I kind of doubt it. John, like the other investors, lost every last dollar he put into the company, not to mention all the time and lost wages (money he could have earned working elsewhere), which must have been quite a lot. Combined with the fact that Current Motor Co. was his "baby", the separation, when it happened, and the subsequent demise of the company had to have been very painful for him. It would be difficult for anyone to walk away from an experience like that without a lot of pain and bitterness. The natural reaction is to "turn the page" and completely divorce oneself from everything associated with that awful experience. I think that's a wise decision, because to do otherwise is pointless and unhealthy, and it probably explains why he hasn't been seen on this forum lately.

If you want to contact John, I'd suggest you post something here specifically directed to him, and hope that he checks the forum sometime. Erik may also visit, and he would be a good source of tech info.

LCJUTILA
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Re: RIP Current Motor Company

Hey Guys!
Just checking in.
My C-130 is still going strong.

LCJUTILA

Greg-Beaudette
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Re: RIP Current Motor Company

Hi, I just picked one of these up. I know nothing about them. The batteries are bad and will take or hold a charge. As I was taking it apart to view the batteries, I seen it has signatures on it. Was that on all the scooters? John Harding and Ken Wright. Is this bike worth anything. It is blue like the one on the wikipedia page. I have the manual coming in a week or so.

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