This deal is very similar to the ZMC deal in that it is a small company that will essentially broker the technology to the bicycle manufacturers. North American, home grown, decisionmakers who share a vision, available by phone.
It makes sense to go with these small companies for a number of reasons.
They exist solely to market the EEStor product. Some here see this as a weakness; it is a strength. EEStor does not need huge cash infusions from large players, they need to penetrate markets. Their customers need to see the benifits, and fear the consequences of not adopting their technology. Cash will be plentiful when sales begin.
"Better" companies? You mean big, and with lots of existing sales? I think the EESU throws a grenade into old product lines, relationships, and designs. Newcomers like LEV and ZMC have no old stuff to protect. They are going to shake things up.
Faster, more nimble, and untethered to "the way we've always done it" beats, big, unresponsive "show me a prototype" companies when you are in this stage.
Dich Weir is older, and unimpressed with large bureaucratic organizations that were unresponsive when he needed early support, coupled with secrecy. The only big one in the mix is Lockheed Martin; defense is a different animal, and LM makes sense in this space.
You don't change the world into DW's vision by starting with GM, Toyota, or some Chinese bicycle manufacturer or parts maker.