Here’s a short video featuring the Brammo Enertia, with an interview of CEO Craig Bramscher by Naureen Malik. I’m assuming this was shot during the debut of the powercycle in NYC on June 8, 2009. Barron’s also had an article about it, but it’s subscription only. If anyone can send me excerpts, I’d appreciate it. UPDATE (See below…)
Bramscher doesn’t share anything we don’t already know about the bike: the motor is behind the small round “Brammo” plate, the majority of the space where an engine usually can be found on a motorcycle is taken up by battery components, and the bike has many parts made of recycled plastic. When she asks him how much horsepower it has, it explains that horsepower is the traditional method of measuring motive power of a motorcycle, but that with an electric, torque is more important, “because that is what you feel when you accelerate.” He goes on to say, however, that the motorcycle has the equivalent of 18 h.p., but “about 30 foot/pounds of torque.”
He mentions the cost — $11,995 — and that federal tax credits cover 10 percent of that cost, and states have additional tax credits available.
Malik asks John Farris, Brammo’s Director of Marketing, who says that he’s been riding motorcycles since he was 6 or 7 years old and that the Enertia “is the easiest motorcycle or scooter I’ve ever ridden in my life.” (Yo John, don’t you know that mentioning the “s” word in the same breath as “Enertia” is one of the leading causes Econfusion? I keed, I keed).
Looks like “The Beachcruiser” blog just posted Malik’s piece (or an excerpt of it) on their blog:
IT’S HARD TO CONJURE THE stereotypically brawny, tattooed Harley biker cruising on a Brammo Enertia Electric Motorcycle.
No hog, it’s a quiet, zero-emissions vehicle made partly from recyclables. It plugs into a standard U.S. outlet and recharges in three hours for a 35- to 45-mile drive at more than 50 miles per hour. Priced at a hefty $12,000 (less a 10% federal tax credit), it will soon be offered at West Coast Best Buy stores, marketed as the motorcycle that’s as easy to ride as a bicycle.
The bicycle analogy doesn’t do the Enertia justice. It turns out you need a motorcyle license (which I don’t have) to drive one, and it’s no lightweight, tipping in at 280 pounds. It was meant to accommodate someone like Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher, a former high-school linebacker.
I’m 5 feet 5; my feet barely touched the ground. But after a quick training session, I took a ride down a vacant Tribeca alley. It was a thrill.
The Enertia does have bicycle features that made it easy to adapt to, including a handlebar brake as well as a foot brake. To accelerate, you roll the rubber hand grip toward you, similar to what one does in changing bicycle gears. The hardest part was staying upright when the Enertia came to a stop. The bike is sleek and a cool way to commute to work or to joyride.
Based in Ashland, Ore., Brammo says it has hundreds of Enertias on back order, and it is working on an electric scooter that won’t require a special license. Best Buy Capital, an affiliate of the big retail chain, is a shareholder in the privately held company.
Brammo working on an “electric scooter” that doesn’t require a special license? That may be the first time I’ve heard that, but it’s not too surprising.