Home Back Issues June 2014 Charged ride

Charged ride

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Article Index
Charged ride
Taking Root

0614launchBY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Company: Works Electric
Product: Electric Transportation
CEO: Brad Baker
Headquarters: Portland
Launched: July 2013

Brad Baker, CEO and co-founder of Works Electric, is a good husband. His wife, an OHSU employee, sought a more efficient way to commute up Marquam “Pill” Hill, so she asked Baker to build a transportation solution. It needed “to fit in a house and be safe, but also be powerful enough and sturdy enough to do the duty every day,” says 32-year-old Baker, a former engineer at General Motors. Thus was born the Rover, a portable electric scooter that is “pretty sweet looking,” Baker says, “something I wouldn’t be self-conscious riding.”

Funded out of pocket, Works Electric now manufactures electric scooters and customizable motorcycles at its Portland workshop. “I work closely with the customers,” Baker says. “They tell me how powerful they want the [motorcycle] to be, how fast they want it to go and what they want it to look like, and we do it.”

The company launched at a propitious time. “There has been extreme growth in the adoption of e-bikes recently,” says Baker, who so far has sold more than 30 scooters. But the product isn’t cheap; the Rover costs $4,950, and the Rover BR, with a few more bells and whistles, has a base price of $5,750. “We really have to put a lot of work into changing people’s habits and getting them to commit to something like this,” Baker says.

What’s next? Works Electric is targeting commercial activity: tourist resorts, rental businesses and private security agencies. The company also plans to release two new models this summer: a light, off-road version and one for “repeated heavy use,” Baker says.


Pragmatic dreamer
“I can sit in my shop, my cave, and work on ideas, come up with new stuff and have fun with it, and that’s fine and dandy. I’ve always enjoyed it. But starting [Works Electric] takes that stuff that’s in my mind and puts it out into the world. I really like affecting the arc of people’s lives and positively impacting them.”

The specs
The current models weigh less than 100 pounds and are charged using a standard wall plug. The Rover has a range of 18 miles on a single charge and reaches a top speed of 28 mph; the Rover BR can travel 25 miles and can go as fast as 35 miles per hour.



 

More Articles

Blips and trends in the housing market

News
Thursday, June 26, 2014
062614 thumb realestateBY ERIC FRUTS | OB BLOGGER

Last year, the housing market in Oregon—and the U.S. as a whole—was blasting off. The Case-Shiller index of home prices ended the year 13% higher than at the beginning of the year. But, was last year a blip, or a trend?


Read more...

Risks & rewards of owning triple net investments

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 24, 2014
NNNinvestmentBY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

With the increasing retirements of Baby Boomers, a massive real estate shift has created a significant increase in demand for NNN properties. The result? Increased demand has triggered higher prices and lower yields.


Read more...

Trends in business succession

News
Thursday, July 03, 2014
TrendsBY TED AUSTIN & MIKE BAELE | GUEST CONTRIBUTORS

The Office of Economic Analysis announced that Oregon is currently enjoying the strongest job growth since 2006. While this resurgence has been welcome, the lingering effects of the 2008 “Great Recession” continues to affect Oregon businesses, especially with regard to estate planning and business succession.


Read more...

Why I became an Oregon angel investor

Guest Blog
Monday, July 14, 2014
AngelInvestBY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE

I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.


Read more...

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...

Poll Wrap-Up

News
Friday, August 15, 2014

2014 NewPoll-report-newsletterthumbIn this week's poll, we asked readers: "Who should pay for the troubled Cover Oregon website?" Here are the results.


Read more...

Is this employee right?

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
081314 thumb employeefeelingsBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

When I say, “Your Employee is Always Right,” I do not mean “right about the facts,” but rather “right about how they feel” and “right about how they want to be led.”


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS