Now on view at the Petersen Automotive Museum in LA is our latest moto-centric exhibit: Electric Revolutionaries.  Curated and concepted by Paul d’Orléans, the exhibit focusses on 11 designers making an impact on the electric mobility scene, each in very different ways; from top speed to accessible mobility, from aesthetic perfection to hand-cobbled and crude, from luxury to mass market to one-off.  Each of these designers is tackling a different set of issues, illustrating the wide-open nature of EV design at this early stage of the industry.  Our 11 designers are brave pioneers, embracing what could be the future of mobility, digging in on what design features make EVs unique, and challenging our ideas of ‘what is a car or motorcycle?’

Electric Revolutionaires was produced by the Motor/Cycle Arts Foundation and Sasha Tcherevkoff, was assembled by the team at Vintagent Lab, laid out by Ian Barry, and presented with generous support from Livewire, and additional support from Damon Motorcycles.  The exhibit opened April 9th 2022, with an opening reception April 14th that was a huge success, and according to Kahn Media, has already received over 3 Billion media impressions.  It’s a hot subject, and these are hot designers! It’s proving to be a popular exhibit with museum-goers, and if you have a chance to visit, tickets are available at the Petersen Museum website.

Our Electric Revolutionaries:

Derek Dorresteyn

[Damon Motorcycles]

Derek Dorresteyn is a technical visionary who has designed the heart of two radical e-Moto designs: the Alta Redshift and Damon Hyperfighter/Hyperdrive. Derek grew up in a motorcycle racing family in Northern California, and was a professional speedway racer from 1983-1987. At the same time, he studied industrial design and mechanical engineering, and founded Moss Machine in 1989, a specialty CNC machine shop and consulting design house for Silicon Valley tech companies. Derek was an adjunct professor at CCA, lecturing on design and manufacturing technology.  In  2007 he observed Tesla gaining traction, and pondered the creation of an electric racing motorcycle.  He created a set of performance goals with his riding buddy, industrial designer Jeff Sand, and quickly found that no suitable components existed to meet their specifications. So they designed their own.

At the Petersen: the Alta Redshift used by Josh Hill to win the Red Bull Straight Rhythm; a Redshift Flat Tracker by Dale Lineaweaver; a Damon Hyperfighter, all part of Derek Dorresteyn’s portfolio.

In 2010 Derek Dorresteyn, Jeff Sand, and Marc Fenigstein founded Alta Motors. Derek led the technical development as Chief Technical Officer (CTO), and with Jeff Sand and a small team designed the Alta Redshift motorcycle with a new high-performance electric drivetrain. The Redshift went into serial production at a factory in Brisbane CA in 2016. The Alta Redshift was notable as the first production electric motorcycle to challenge and beat internal-combustion motorcycles in professional competition.  In 2019 Derek joined Canadian firm Damon Motors (founded 2017 by Dom Qwong and Jay Giraud) as CTO.  He led development of the Damon Hyperdrive powertrain, and the motorcycles using it. At Damon, Derek and the team are commercializing new technologies while pushing the boundaries of motorcycle performance and safety, with a family of high-performance electric motorcycles. [Read our feature on Derek ‘Alta in the Family’ here]

Eva Häkansson

[Eva Häkansson]

Eva Häkansson was born in Sweden to a family of engineers, mechanics, and motorcycle racers, her father Sven was the 50cc racing champion of Sweden, and her mother Lena was his mechanic: both are mechanical engineers, and her brothers are electrical engineers.  In 2007 Eva built the first road-registered electric motorcycle in Sweden, the ElectroCat, with her father. While writing a book about electric motorcycle design that year, she corresponded with Bill Dubé about his KillaCycle drag racer, and soon joined his team in Colorado: they were married 18 months later.  She was the last in her family to gain an engineering degree, taking a PhD at the University of Denver in 2016.

At the Petersen: the KillaJoule dragster built by Bill Dubé with help from Eva, and KillaJoule, designed and built by Eva Häkansson.

In the midst of her PhD studies, Eva designed and built the KillaJoule streamliner, mostly by herself.  In 2014, she piloted KillaJoule on the Bonneville Salt Flats, making her the fastest female motorcyclist in the world, in the fastest electric motorcycle in the world. In 2017 at Bonneville she achieved a two-way average speed of 255.122mph, but her ambition is to take the absolute motorcycle world speed record.  For that, she designed Green Envy, a streamliner with over 1000hp, while working as a lecturer at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.  Rain has twice halted her planned record runs at Lake Gairdner in Australia, but she hopes to demonstrate Green Envy’s potential soon.  [Read our feature on Green Envy here]

Hugo Eccles

[Simone Mancini]

Hugo Eccles is British industrial and product designer, who founded Untitled Motorcycles to build custom motorcycles for private clients and brands.  Hugo studied at the Royal College of Art in London, starting at global design consultancy IDEO, and later with superstar designer Ross Lovegrove. He emigrated to the USA in 2003 to become Global Director of Product Design at Fitch, then headed the Arnell Group’s Innovation Lab in New York City.  He returned to London in 2010 to work with Sir Terence Conran as managing director of Studio Conran.

At the Petersen: Hugo Eccles’ XP Zero

In 2014 Hugo founded Untitled Motorcycles in San Francisco, California.  He rapidly gained attention for his forward-thinking designs, winning several awards.  Zero Motorcycles approached him to build a special version of their SR/F sports motorcycle before it was launched, lending support with electronics and making prototypes available. The result was the XP Zero, which gained worldwide acclaim for its futuristic lines and solid design pedigree.  The XP Zero is available as a limited-production model intended for road use, and Hugo is following the EV thread with the XR Zero, a racing version of the XP Zero, and the SuperMerica, using the LiveWire platform.  [Read our interview with Hugo here]

Joey Ruiter

[Motor/Cycle Arts Foundation]

Joey Ruiter is a Michigan native who is rooted to his home state physically, but his design language is purely conceptual.  After studies at Kendall College of Art and Design, he established a career as an industrial designer with J.RUITER Studio, working on a broad spectrum of objects: boats, office furniture for Herman Miller, the reboot of Buell motorcycles, etc.  But it’s his conceptual vehicle designs that have brought broad acclaim, as they are incomparable in their radical simplicity.  Joey’s vehicles on roads, snow, and water challenge the very definition of ‘car’, ‘motorcycle’, and ‘boat’ in their rigorous geometry.

At the Petersen: Joey Ruiter’s Moto Undone, NOMOTO, and Another Sedan

Joey Ruiter’s refusal to cater to accepted design priorities – ergonomics and user interface – in favor of a purity of shape and concept, can make his vehicles challenging, or even threatening to a viewer.  They do not need a driver or rider to be complete, they simply exist, aloof and perfect.  His commitment to this conceptual practice makes him nearly unique in the world of vehicle design.  Such startling rigor might be impossible for actual production, but as thought-provoking statements they are unparalleled.

JT Nesbitt

[Motor/Cycle Arts Foundation]

New Orleans native JT Nesbitt received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Louisiana Tech University’s School of Design.  His career has encompassed reportage for Iron Horse magazine, a stint as lead designer of Bienville Studios in New Orleans, and two stints working with Matt Chambers, founder of both Confederate Motorcycles and the Curtiss Motorcycle Co.  His motorcycle design language is distinctive and unforgettable, and includes the radical Confederate Wraith and second-generation Confederate Hellcat models.

At the Petersen; Curtiss Motorcycles’ The One by JT Nesbitt

When Matt Chambers changed course on his bespoke motorcycle business to focus on electric vehicles as the Curtiss Motorcycle Co., JT Nesbitt returned to design The Curtiss One.  While JT’s earlier designs flexed with aggressive, exposed structures, the One is an entirely different animal: elegant in an old-world way, with Art Nouveau lines and a joie de vivre surely reflecting his New Orleans roots. [Read our writeup of Curtiss Motors here]



LiveWire is the electric vehicle (EV) spinoff brand founded by Harley-Davidson in 2021.  With an eye to the future, Harley-Davidson began investigating EV motorcycles in 2010, working with San Francisco-based startups Mission Motors and Alta Motorcycles to jump-start their R&D into this new territory. The result was the LiveWire, publicly introduced in 2014 with a tour of their dealerships across the USA, where interested riders could test this all-new EV design, from the oldest continually-operating motorcycle company in the world.

At the Petersen; the LiveWire One Carbon Fiber and Suicide Machine Co. custom

When Harley-Davidson announced the LiveWire would be available to consumers in 2019, they became the first major motorcycle manufacturer to offer a large-capacity electric motorcycle. In 2021, Harley-Davidson announced that LiveWire would become a stand-alone brand on the New York stock exchange (LVW), with a majority interest retained by H-D, and major investments from KYMCO and ABIC, a SPAC created to take LiveWire public in June 2022.   It’s an exciting project.

Samuel Aboagye

[Efo Selasi]

While he is still a student in Accra, Ghana, 17-year old Samuel Aboagye has made a big impact in Africa with his personal initiative and self-reliant designs. As early as junior high school, Samuel began cobbling together a series of useful battery-powered objects for the home, built entirely from scrap and recycled materials. The first was a solar-powered fan that doubled as a phone charger.  He also built a Bluetooth speaker set, a vacuum cleaner, and a portable washing machine known in Africa as a Veronica bucket.

At the Petersen: Samuel Aboagye’s remarkable Solar Scooter and Solar Rickshaw.

In high school, working with his mentor/teacher Sam Hagan, he assembled his Solar Scooter. Efo Selassi’s excited video of Samuel’s scooter in action was broadcast to hundreds of thousands of viewers around the world, and brought him to the attention of the Motor/Cycle Arts Foundation (MAF).  The MAF has forwarded donations to Samuel for developing new projects, and hopes to further the education opportunities for this extraordinary young man. [Read our interview with Samuel here]

Stefan Ytterborn


Swedish design entrepreneur Stefan Ytterborn has a long track record of successful business development.  He founded the winter sports gear company POC in 2004, which was oriented towards safety and reducing the consequences of accidents for skiers and gravity sports athletes.  Stefan’s strategic development of POC made him responsible for over 2000 consumer products, as POC was sold at the retail level in 45 countries.  In 2012 he sold his interest in POC.

At the Petersen: CAKE Kalk AP, Ösa :work, Makka :work.

In 2016, Stefan founded CAKE, an electric motorcycle company.  Their first model, the Kalk off-road bike, debuted in early 2018 and was immediately hailed as an extraordinary design, winning many design awards.  With a motto of ‘explore with respect’, CAKE’s aim was to bring positive changes to the motorcycle industry and the world, inspiring movement towards a ‘zero-emission society.’   CAKE now has three base models and many variants and options, including the Kalk AP, sent to African nature preserves to support anti-poaching efforts, the Ösa utility motorcycle, and the lightweight Makka moped.  Their recent :work series of bikes and accessories emphasizes the unique capabilities of e-Motos for utilitarian purposes. [Read our 2018 CAKE profile here]

Storm Sondors


Born in Latvia, Ivars ‘Storm’ Sondors showed great promise as a sculptor, graduation high school at 14 to attend art school.  By his early 20s, he was living in Chicago building wooden prototype models for toys with big players like Mattel and Fisher-Price.  He founded his own toy company to build radio-controlled cars, helicopters, and planes, and was very successful, but unhappy.  A diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome helped him change course in life, which included selling his company, moving to Malibu, and taking up surfing.

At the Petersen: the Sondors Metacycle, and MadMods.

While recovering from a sports injury, Storm showed interest in a friend’s electric bicycle, but was shocked to learn it cost $4000.  He set himself the task of building an affordable e-Bike, and used a crowd-funding website to kickstart the project: it proved the second-most successful Indiegogo fundraiser, exceeding its goal by 7000%.  SONDORS is now one of the largest e-Bike manufacturers in the USA, and is distributed in 42 countries.   More recently, he turned his attention to disrupting the e-Moto scene by revealing the dramatic Metacycle, with a futuristic cast-aluminum chassis and an industry-beating low price tag.

Walt Siegl


Walt Siegl is an Austrian-born designer and fabricator of motorcycles internationally recognized for their timeless design, expert craftsmanship, and forward-thinking technology. At 14 Walt left home for art school in Graz, Austria to study metal sculpture and jewelry making. At 18 he joined an endurance motorcycle racing team. An accident stopped his racing career, so he worked in Marseilles as a shunter in a train yard, a toolmaker in Austria, and a welder in Italy. A job in Moscow for an Austrian steel company inspired him to join the Austrian Foreign Service.

At the Petersen; Walt Siegl’s Rontu and PACT Carbon

In 1985 he transferred to New York City to promote Austrian art and culture, and spent 22 years there.  In his free time he customized motorcycles, and demand for his work led him to move with his family into an old mill in New Hampshire to build motorcycles full-time. Famous for his high-performance, limited-edition internal-combustion sports motorcycles, he has recently turned to styling electric motorcycles, earning great acclaim for their superb design. [Read our feature on Walt Siegl here]

Yves Béhar


Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, Yves Béhar is a superstar industrial designer and founder of the branding firm Fuseproject in San Francisco. He studied design in Europe before attending the Art Center College of Design, and in the 1990s worked in Silicon Valley on design/technology projects for clients like Apple.  He broadened his design interests to include furniture and clothing, and funded Fuseproject in 1999 to explore the integral relationship of brands with products.   His client list is enormous, and his soft, minimalist style has earned him global acclaim.

At the Petersen; the Mission One mockup and only Mission One motorcycle

In 2007, San Francisco startup Hum Cycles, later known as Mission Motors, approached Fuseproject to design the world’s first electric sportbike.  The team of ex-Tesla employees had the technical skills to meet the 150+mph expected in the sports motorcycle category, but wanted a stunning design to emphasize that a new generation of motorcycles was approaching.  Béhar’s sophisticated and elegant Mission One was revealed in Feb. 2009.  He has recently returned to the EV space, designing the Unagi Model 11, a folding standup scooter with adaptive safety features made of unique materials for lightness and strength. [See our 2009 feature on the Mission One here]

The Team:

The Motor/Cycle Arts Foundation and Vintagent Lab team: Competitions Director Dan Green, MAF co-founder Sasha Tcherevkoff, Curator Paul d’Orléans, MAF Director Kim Lohstroh Young, Electric Revolution COO George Tortarolo, MAF Education Director Nadia Amer, MAF Development Director John Lewis. [MAF]


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