Posts Tagged E Day
. . . one giant leap for Brammo” *
Say what you will about the idea of selling electric motorcycles to leather-clad pirates in assless chaps, this photo is a significant one in the short history of Brammo.
*A wise man.
Remember a few weeks ago when Brammo’s CEO, Craig Bramscher, agreed with Tech Crunch editor Michael Arrington to give away a Brammo Enertia to one lucky person at Tech Crunch Disrupt 2011? Here’s the link. The winner was a woman who made a compelling pitch about giving the bike to her son.
The bike was delivered last week:
Misha writes to Brammo:
Dear, Mr. Bramscher
Today at 4pm I received a call from the Fedex guy that I had a special package waiting for me downstairs, I immediately put on some shoes and ran downstairs! The Fedex guy was wondering what could possibly be in this package, I told him I had a Brammo Enertia motorcycle in there, he peeled away some of the cardboard and we both got a small peek of the bike. We were both amazed how beautiful the bike looked, I actually had a huge smile on my face.
As soon as we got it out of the truck I got to work on stripping off all the cardboard and getting those metal frames off, after a couple minutes it was time to sit down on the bike and unloosen the two belts holding the bike in place. After the bike was free, I put the key in the ignition and started up the bike. All my neighbors and pedestrians that were walking by on the street couldn’t help but look at the bike, and were surprised such a cool looking bike was electric. I told them it was the bike of the future. It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced in my life. I never thought that I’d be an owner of such a great bike. I’ll make sure to take care of this baby. Thank you guys so much for giving me this motorcycle, I’ll never forget this day!
Congratulations on your new bike, Misha! I hope you find the time, between riding and admiring it (while it charges) to join us over at the Brammo Owners Forum. As for that “huge smile” on your face, I know the feeling. Gear up. Ride it. Enjoy it. And stay healthy, kid.
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?
I just received word that Best Buy #140 1127 Industrial Rd, San Carlos, California, is now selling the Brammo Enertia. I’m assuming that test rides will require that you have a motorcycle endorsement on your license. Run, don’t walk.
According to Brammo’s store locator, the Enertia can be purchased at six locations in California and Oregon. I made a map . . . click through to the page:
UPDATE: Apparently, the two bay area stores have the bike on display but not officially for sale yet, due to not getting their paperwork processed by the California DMV. As I noted in an earlier post, one of the big hold ups to selling the bikes at Best Buy is that the store must get an automobile dealer license. According to Brian Wismann, the stores will be up and running and test rides will be available sometime in the next two weeks.
Of course, if you live in the other 48 states or in the rest of the world (assuming you can come and pick it up in the U.S.), you can always order online at Brammo.com.
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.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Figuring out the delicate balance between battery weight and effective energy management in order to provide adequate power and a usable range, and then wrapping up that equation in an attractive fun-to-ride package may turn out to be one of the simpler challenges faced by Brammo in bringing its electric motorcycle to the masses.
Remember the endless wait for Enertia Day? It seemed that delay after delay kept disappointing those who had followed Brammo’s story as they waited for the Enertia to appear on the sales floor at two Best Buy stores in Portland, Oregon. People were expressing doubts that the bike would ever show up.
As it turned out, one of the biggest reasons for the delay was that the state of Oregon had not approved Best Buy as a dealer of motor vehicles. Once that approval became official, a week later in fact, E-day became a reality.
In the same article about the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), I also published a picture that had been posted by @brammodesigner showing the Vehicle Emission Control Information (VECI) Label required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be posted on every production motorcycle. The absurdity of the inclusion of that label, which clearly indicated that “battery only electric” was the vehicle’s “emission control system,” shows one glimpse of how the world is not really prepared to face the realities of a plug-in vehicle. Go ahead — look at your toaster. Do you see an EPA VECI label on it? Of course not. It has no emissions to speak of, unless you count the smoke from your burnt toast.
To the EPA, the fact that the Enertia has wheels is determinative. Instead, it should recognize that the Enertia produces zero emissions should exempt it from the VECI label requirement. Any vehicle that depends solely on electric power and does not have an onboard gasoline-powered generator (such as the Chevy Volt) should likewise be exempt from this requirement.
The EPA on the federal level and the DMV on the state level are only two examples of the type of challenges facing Brammo during its push to market.
Other DMV Absurdities
Best Buy had to apply to Oregon’s DMV to become a vehicle dealer. One wonders how Best Buy will be able to successfully gain dealer status in Utah which requires that the dealer’s business be:
devoted exclusively to the sale of motor vehicles and business incidental to it. . . The Principle Place of Business must not share any common area with another dealer, auction, dismantler, or manufacturer or any business or activity not directly related to motor vehicle commerce.
(Emphasis added). See Utah Code Ann. § 41-3-210(o)(i). It is unclear how Best Buy is going to handle this limitation in Utah, although it is safe to say they will not be abandoning their inventory of non-Brammo merchandise.
Best Buy’s next hurdle is likely to center around zoning. Zoning regulates the purpose for which land is used, and is usually controlled at the county or city level. Generally, good zoning practices will prevent anomalies such as an auto assembly plant or a feed lot being constructed across the street from a neighborhood of manicured lawns. But, just like Utah’s odd auto dealer restriction, Best Buy will have its share of challenges in zoning regulation.
My poking around the morass of zoning regulations for Los Angeles, California, has suggested that Brammo is going to face some delays in making its appearance there. As I searched, one type of result that kept coming up high on my list was LA’s tight restriction of auto repair businesses. Brammo has trained certain Best Buy employees to conduct qualified warranty repairs of the Enertia. These repairs will likely be carried out inside the back room of the Best Buy by these trained mechanics. I imagine most repairs on these bikes will entail hooking it up to a computer to run diagnostics and tweak settings. LA zoning law, however, sees this kind of repair as no different than a shop that services a huge Kenworth diesel rig with its associated noise, odors, and hazards of fuel spills.
Perhaps Brammo and Best Buy can use the persuasive power of EV advocates such as LA resident Chelsea Sexton to help them in their trip through the maze of city and county regulations ahead of them. Sexton, one of the “stars” of “Who Killed the Electric Car,” recently spoke at a Best Buy conference on electric vehicles. (Follow her on twitter: @evchels)
The finish line
Based on the long-awaited appearance of the Enertia in Portland, Brammo and Best Buy appear to be working well together to clear the hurdles set before them. This is uncharted territory and these two companies, like it or not, have become pioneers. You have to wonder if Best Buy realized the extent of the challenges ahead of it when it joined forces with Brammo in February 2009.
You also have to wonder how long it might be before government regulations based on a petroleum economy catch up with technical innovation.