Posts Tagged Ashland

Brammo’s new top speed: 500 mph

From a planespotter at the Ashland Muni-sumner Parker Field, an airport located a mere five minutes away from Brammo’s headquarters, comes this photo of a 1998 Gulfstream 450 with a rather curious logo on the tail:

Proud bird with the bullish tail

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I made some calls to investigate whether this was real or not.

According to my sources, Brammo had been considering moving its headquarters away from its isolated location in Ashland to a more accessible location in San Francisco, California.  A deal to purchase a building at 1140 Harrison Street was in the final stages when a cost-benefit study was produced to the group by an intern.

“The intern, on her own, had calculated the costs of ownership of the facility, down to the increased cost of living of each of our current employees.  She concluded that the main reason for the move, Ashland’s commercial isolation, could be more effectively dealt with by purchasing a corporate jet.  If, in addition to have the CEO using it to ferry investors around — a typical use-case for such a jet — we used it to send techs to conduct dealer training, for instance, and a host of other uses, it actually makes good business sense.  Plus, when we are not using it for Brammo business, we can charter it out.”

The Gulfstream jet was owned previously by a New Jersey bank which bought a newer model.  “We got it for a song, really,” according to my source.

I asked whether it will be used to transport any fully-assembled motorcycles to their destinations.

“Funny you should ask. We were assured by the seller that, indeed, it had been used for this purpose, as one of our Enertias was purchased by the “Make a Dream Come True Foundation” following a request by someone to ride an electric motorcycle up Pikes Peak.  The Foundation loaded the Enertia successfully through the passenger door.  But this will not be a primary use for the jet in our case. “

More information on its way… be sure to stay tuned in.

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Brammo Escorts Zero Race through Rogue Valley

Louis Palmer of Zero Race gestures toward the Brammo Enertia

Zero Race, an around-the-world-in-80-days endeavor, traveled through Brammo’s home town of Ashland, Oregon, on Sunday, November 14.  The race describes itself as:

THE COMPETITION OF FUTURE VEHICLES
This is not a race about speed. This is a race to make the planet greener and a better place to live for future generations. This is a race to make small, efficient vehicles popular. The team with the smartest, most efficient, most reliable, most usable and most popular concept will be the winner.

Wayne Buck, a Project Engineer at Brammo, wrote about Zero Race’s trek through the Rogue Valley:

What a cool weekend!  Brammo’s Enertia had the privilege of providing escort to the “ZERO EMISSIONS RACE” on days 48 and 49 of their attempt the go around the world in 80 days.

We participated in the welcome event at the sports park on Highway 99 Sunday evening.  It was attended by enthusiasts, media, Medford City officials and numerous organizations including the Rogue Valley Clean Cities Coalition.

Monday morning I escorted the Australian 3 wheeled entry from its charging location in Phoenix to the Ashland Plaza where Ashland’s Mayor, supporters and a fourth grade class of students gave the racers a warm welcome. Although the rigors of the journey where weighing heavy on the team they were very gracious to everyone and very generous with their smiles.

Each team is awarded points for various competitions that take place at each stop on their route. Sunday evening, they turned their vehicles off and had a race, pushing them to determine which was lighter. Monday morning the grade school kids were asked to stand by the one they thought looked the best.

The Australian team was the first team ready to leave Ashland so I escorted them to I-5 and wished them happy trails.

You can find more information on the race at http://zero-race.com/en/ , can give them a “like” on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.  Or, if you live in Sacramento, California, they just happen to be there today, according to their “Where are they now?” page.

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Brammo Test Ride – Ashland Localsguide

Brammofan can’t pass up a story with a line like this:

I ran into Brammo’s Marketing Director Adrian Stewart at the Science Works Earth Day celebration back in April.

It turns out it was a worthwhile read.  Authored by “AaronsAutoWerks”  of Ashland, Oregon, it includes a well-written review of his ride of the Brammo Enertia.

Adrian Stewart's Enertia?

I joked with him to let me ride it and I would write a story about it in the LocalsGuide. Well the next thing I know I had a demo bike at my shop charged up and ready to go. I received an extension cord and a quick “how-to” instructional from the Brammo technician who delivered the Enertia. I quickly donned my helmet and threw a leg over the bike and felt right at home. My first impression is that this is a real motorcycle not some one-off kit bike.

More impressions and the full ride review along with a great collection of must-see folks if you ever happen to find yourself in Southern Oregon, at his blog:

Ashland Oregon Locals Guide

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Brammo CEO Pushes for Economic Development Zone in Ashland

The Ashland Daily Tidings published an article today  about light industry in the town.  It contained some quotes from a few of the local captains of industry and closed with this section about Brammo’s CEO and some of his concerns with how the city is handling the growth of the sector, generally, and his company’s expansion efforts, in particular:

Light industry faces challenges

By Vickie Aldous

Brian Wismann, design director for Brammo (cq), demonstrates the Enertia, an electric motorbike that the Ashland company is expanding production on. Photo by Jim Craven 9/25/2008

* * *

Craig Bramscher, chairman and chief executive officer of Enertia electric motorcycle manufacturer BRAMMO Inc. in Ashland, said he would like to see more light industry — especially green businesses — cluster in town.

If a new hire doesn’t work out at BRAMMO, he or she will probably have to move away to find a new job because there are relatively few businesses like BRAMMO here, Bramscher said.

He said no one at BRAMMO makes less than $10 an hour. Mechanics and assemblers can make $20 an hour, while engineers make $50,000 to $125,000. Of BRAMMO’s 40 employees, 25 are engineers, he said.

Bramscher said the hardest part of doing business in Ashland is the development side of the equation. He said he’s facing a challenge in trying to get a road put through for his company.

The Oregon Economic and Community Development Department has provided a $500,000 loan and $400,000 grant to extend Jefferson Street in a move to promote BRAMMO’s growth.

Bramscher was tasked with getting the plans and permits for the street extension, but still hadn’t done so in November. The Ashland City Council voted that month to spend $28,425 for the city government to hire an engineering firm to get that planning work done and speed up the project.

Bramscher said he was pleased to learn of the council’s decision after being in China for several weeks. He said city staff members have been supportive, but it’s hard for a business person to have time to work on development issues.

“The city has been waiting for me to do things. They should help businesses get infrastructure. In a lot of cities, if you’re bringing in jobs, they’ll bend over backwards,” he said.

He said businesses, especially start-ups, have little time to take raw land and develop it. When it comes to attracting light industry to the Croman Mill site in the future, Bramscher said it would be beneficial for the city to have infrastructure in place and pre-approved projects at the site.

In November, the City Council authorized city staff to apply for up to $1 million in state grant funding to help pay for a primary street through the Croman Mill site. A street there would make it easier for medical software maker Plexis Healthcare Systems to expand from its A Street location in Ashland to the Croman site.

Bramscher has advocated for an economic development zone in Ashland where taxes would be waived for a period of time to encourage businesses to build. Some fear that businesses would use the zone during the tax-exempt period, and then exit Ashland. But even if some did, they would leave behind buildings that could be used by the next business, which would pay taxes, Bramscher said.

He said he’s been told that city officials can’t consider creation of an economic development zone until an economic development strategy has been adopted.

Bramscher said he hopes the economic development strategy will help Ashland find ways to be more attractive to business, including light industry that uses green technology.

“If you’re not putting out a welcome mat, you’re putting out a ‘you’re lucky to be here’ mat,” he said.

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Ashland, Oregon Newspaper covers Enertia sound issue

From the Ashland Daily Tidings, the local newspaper in Brammo’s home turf:

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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.”

Ashland Daily Tidings © 2009 Southern Oregon Media Group, a division of Dow Jones

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