From the Ashland Daily Tidings, the local newspaper in Brammo’s home turf:
By Elon Glucklich
Can you make a boom without making a sound?
Ashland electric motorcycle manufacturer Brammo Powercycles is earning praise in advance of its commercial debut this month. The zero-emissions motorbike plugs into the wall like a household appliance, and is as quiet as a hybrid. But for safety’s sake, it can’t get on the road without making a little bit of noise.
For this reason, Brammo’s powerbikes, called Enertias, are specially equipped to generate their own noise.
“It’s something we had designed all along,” said Brammo marketing director John Farris. He said federal legislation may soon require motor vehicles to meet sound standards. Since electric and hybrid vehicles make far less noise than their combustion engine counterparts, making sure other drivers can hear them coming is paramount to their safety.
A microchip generates the vehicle’s start-up sound, to let the driver know it is operational. It also makes a generated noise similar to a vehicle’s acceleration when it runs at 10 mph or slower. Faster than that, the driver is limited only by his or her imagination.
“It has the capabilities of a fully functioning speaker system. You can hook it up to your iPod and play songs,” Farris said. “It’s a way for customers to personalize their vehicle.”