Posts Tagged Rick Rommel
Today, it’s Illinois’ turn.
Disclaimer: Don’t get your tax or other financial advice from anyone whose online name ends in -fan. This means: do your own homework on this purchase. I’m just trying to get you to think.
Before we begin, close your eyes and imagine walking into your favorite Chicagoland Best Buy. The doors open, beckoning you inside. To your left is Stu, the burly guy who normally checks your receipt as you leave. As you enter, he also would put a magic sticker on the laptop you were bringing to Fred, the Geek Squad guy, for him to repair and copy the hidden porn directory onto his thumb drive. Stu sizes you up as you enter and sees you have no merchandise in your hands. He notices that you are looking straight ahead. He sees your eyes focus on the display in the front of the store: Electric Vehicles at Best Buy. Specifically, he sees the look of ecstasy as you spy this:
Now, open your eyes.
You’ve gotten a glimpse at the future in Illinois, but I have no idea when that future will become our reality. Until it does, none of the tax incentive information I’m about to share will apply to the Enertia. Why? Read on, and all will be revealed.
Illinois has a great program called the “Alternate Fuels Rebate Program” that states:
A Vehicle Rebate applies to the incremental cost of an alternate fuel vehicle purchased from a dealership or similar vendor as compared to the cost of its gasoline or diesel counterpart. The vehicle must be purchased from an Illinois dealership or similar company doing business in Illinois.
The amount of the Vehicle Rebate is for 80% of the incremental cost of the alternate fuel vehicle versus the same type of gasoline or diesel vehicle, up to $4,000.
Translation: If you buy an Enertia from an Illinois dealership or similar company, you should qualify for a rebate for 80% of the difference in cost between the Enertia and “the same type of gasoline or diesel vehicle.”
Brammo has claimed, fairly consistently, that the Enertia is comparable to a 250cc internal combustion engine (ICE) motorcycle. For instance, the Ninja 250R has a suggested retail price of $4300 – $4500. The “incremental” cost of the Enertia would be $7995 – $4300 = $3695. In other words, an Enertia buyer is paying a $3695 premium to get an electric motorcycle, rather than a comparably-powerful ICE motorcycle.
The rebate would equal 80% of $3695, or $2956. The Federal tax credit is $799. 7995 – 2956 – 799 = $4240.
So the out-of-pocket on the retail price of the Enertia would be $4240 . . . PROVIDED, however, that you bought it from an “Illinois dealership or similar company.” So far, no such dealerships exist in Illinois.
There are plans to roll out the Enertia to select Best Buy stores in Illinois. Those plans are dependent upon powerful Best Buy people who wear ties almost every day, like Kai Patel, the Executive Vice President of Emerging Business, and Rick Rommell, the Senior Vice President of Emerging Business. Because I’m certain they read my blog each day, I’ll ask them to reply in the comments to the question, “When will the Enertia be sold in Illinois Best Buy stores?”
Just to sprinkle a little rain on your happy thoughts of the future, I want to remind you that certain taxes and fees may apply to your Brammo Enertia purchase in future-Chicago. For example, Illinois has a 7.25% sales tax on items to be titled or registered, but if you lived in Chicago, you’d end up paying about 8.5% in sales tax. That would add about $680 onto the cost. In 2009, the Federal stimulus bill allowed you to take an income tax credit for your sales tax on vehicles purchased that year, but this law has lapsed. I don’t know about fees such as registration/title/license fees that might be charged, but you should consider that. Also, you’ll have to insure your Enertia, buy a great helmet, protective hear, a hefty stick to beat off admirers, and electricity.
Not news: Brammo and Best Buy are Buddies. We’ve known that since September 2008, when Brammo raised a $10 million round from Best Buy Venture Capital.
Not news: Brammo and Best Buy are serious about being Buddies: We’ve known this since February 2009, when Brammo announced that its electric motorcycle, the Brammo Enertia, would be sold at select Best Buy stores on the West Coast. And the pair sealed the deal when the bikes finally went on sale in Portland, Oregon (August 2009) and Los Angeles (October 2009) and San Francisco (November 2009).
Now, where is the news? Where is the news about the roll out of the Brammo Enertia to other Best Buy stores across the country? Now that Christmas is over and Best Buy can once again move its displays around to accommodate the Enertia and other electric vehicles/bikes, when will we see this vignette played in Chicago? New York? Texas? Florida? Kansas City?
Brammo fans have been asking for this to be rolled out to their cities for months now.
What are you guys waiting for?
What do you do if your brand new Brammo Enertia Powercycle needs servicing?
Easy answer: Drive it to the nearest Best Buy that has Brammo-certified technicians. So far, that’s only in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland, but soon enough, even the Best Buy in Coralville, Iowa will have someone to take care of you. (Sorry, Hawkeye… I don’t know the definition of “soon enough” but be patient. )
Cooler answer: Call your local Best Buy (as long as you live in one of the cities soon to be announced) and the Geek Squad will come to you in one of these:
According to AutoBlogGreen:
The electronics giant will start using them in January (after they’re shown off at CES) at some Geek Squad locations in California. Details have not yet been totally worked out, but the Geek EVs will start with a fleet of four vehicles and will then expand and rotate to other stores over the course of three years. Most likely, the i-MiEVs will be doled out in pairs and the probable early cities where these vehicles will make house calls include Chicago, New York, Portland, and San Francisco.
Best Buy plans to use the i-MiEVs just like any other fleet car, with the exception that they will be right-hand drive. Best Buy’s Senior Vice President of emerging business, Rick Rommel, told AutoblogGreen that the idea is to learn, “How these will fit into a Geek’s daily life.” The plug-in vehicle tests with Geek Squad is unrelated to how select West Coast Best Buy stores are selling electric bikes. That said, Rommel admits that the key thing is that Best Buy likes to conduct new experiments, and these EVs fit into that general concept.
You might not want the guy poking around your PC, but the techs that are Brammo-Certified are like Geeks on steroids. They’ve been to the Ashland, Oregon headquarters of Brammo and, besides learning all about the bikes, have actually participated in the assembly of one from the ground up. And no, they can’t download the Enertia’s GPS tracker data to find which “Gentlemen’s Club” you’ve been frequenting… for two reasons: 1)the bike does not have a GPS tracker, and 2) Dude… you’re riding an Enertia. No need to pay for female attention — it comes standard.
This just off the wire:
Brammo Advances Progress for Electric Vehicle Equality
Electric vehicle equality message gains audience with The White House and key members of Congress ASHLAND, Ore., Nov. 3
ASHLAND, Ore., Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ — On the heels of a wildly successful grassroots journey, Brammo, maker of plug-in electric motorcycles, is urging the United States government to grant equality in federal funding for all electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers. Currently, most federal funding has been limited to companies producing EVs with four wheels.
To press this case, Brammo’s Founder and CEO, Craig Bramscher, met with members of Congress last week and with Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu at the Clean Energy Economy Forum hosted by The White House. The meetings were part of an effort to present policymakers Brammo’s commercially-available emissions-free motorcycle at a time when the government is looking for clean transportation solutions.
“We want to thank The White House and Congress for their support of clean transportation policy to date,” said Bramscher. “Most of the funding, however, continues to go to companies that lag in innovation. Meanwhile, the Brammo Enertia powercycle is available online and at select Best Buy stores today despite federal discrimination for two-wheeled vehicles. We plan to fight for funding equality for our promising industry.”
Best Buy senior vice president of Emerging Business Rick Rommel, who accompanied Bramscher to The White House said, “Best Buy is committed to supporting customer adoption of clean energy technologies by making it convenient for them to learn about and see these exciting alternatives within our stores. We appreciated this opportunity to share our perspective with leaders in Washington, and look forward to a continuing dialogue.”
The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed an Amendment to the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act giving two-wheel electric vehicle manufacturers access to Department of Energy funding for further development of electric vehicles. It is expected that similar legislation will be introduced in the Senate, and, if passed, will help accelerate the emergence of electric vehicles as a clean energy transportation option, without favoring four-wheeled vehicles over two- and three-wheeled vehicles.
Brammo’s grassroots journey, titled Shocking Barack, involved two Brammo Enertia riders who followed the same route from Detroit to Washington, DC that was taken last December by the Big Three auto executives as they asked Congress for a bailout. The goal of the Shocking Barack voyage was to present President Obama a homegrown solution to the country’s transportation crisis. The tour, which continues to attract a vocal crowd at Twitter, will be transitioned into a campaign to call for equality in federal finding.
Even with limited federal support, Oregon based Brammo has grown from 12 employees to more than 50 in last year with much of the growth in high tech positions.
To learn more about Brammo’s efforts and its business, please visit www.brammo.com for more information.
Brammo (www.brammo.com) is a premier specialty vehicle manufacturer developing sustainable performance products for the next generation of transportation. Through integration of digital engineering and high impact design, Brammo transforms ideas into compelling products. Located in Ashland, Oregon the company was founded in 2002 and is privately held.
These are some pictures from Saturday’s big launch of the Brammo Enertia at the El Segundo Best Buy. I nabbed some of the pics from someone’s twitter feed and forgot who they came from. If they’re yours, let me know in the comments.