Posts Tagged Kai Patel

In Illinois? Want a Brammo? Get Best Buy on it.

Brammofan is on the Tax Incentive Warpath.  We’ve looked at Colorado, California, and, just yesterday, Oklahoma.

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:

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.



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Delay – the Albatross of the EV

I’ve written before on the subject of delay in the EV industry:

Buzz Building on Brammo at Best Buy

Q. More Blue than Brammo Fans? A. EEStor Fans

Breaking: One Reason for Enertia-Day Delay

Red Tape may be biggest challenge for Brammo and Best Buy

apteraAccording to this article from, it looks like Aptera fans are facing similar news.   John Voelker, the Editor-in-chief of this essential industry blog said, after spending about three hours at Aptera:

Paying customers will take delivery of their 2e production vehicles starting in the third or fourth quarters of next year, meaning July 1 or later.

UPDATE: This paragraph has since been edited out of the article on  Divine from that what you will.

No doubt that the collective groan from the Aptera Forum is a familiar sound to EV fans everywhere.  For example, Enertia fans in California who may be waiting for the bike to appear at Los Angeles area Best Buy stores have been told that October (make that late-October) is the target date for now. While my opinion is that it’s definitely worth the wait, I’d advise against holding your breath.

Chelsea Sexton, Goddess of Gigawatts

Chelsea Sexton, Goddess of Gigawatts

Interesting developments may emerge from a meeting today in California between Best Buy video-stars (from last week’s video, “Electric Vehicles at Best Buy“) Rick Rommel and Kai Patel and (say it with reverence) Chelsea Sexton, who is meeting with Brammo’s Channel Development Director, Adrian Stewart. (UPDATE: Ms. Sexton wasn’t there, but sent everyone a copy of “Who Killed the Electric Car?”  I guess my copy is still in the mail.  Sigh.) Oh sure, they’re probably talking about Best Buy’s new push to recycle old electronics but perhaps they’ll also tackle the EXCITING subject of ZONING, which has been one of the unexpected impediments which needed to be addressed before Best Buy can start selling and servicing the Enertia.  (see “red tape” link, above, for more on this edge-of-your-seat issue.)

(What the heck is “Channel Development” anyway?  I, for one, believe it has something to do with who gets to handle the remote control while you watch “Dancing with the Former Senators.”   Perhaps Mr. Stewart will chime in.AdrianStewart-160x240 By the way, Tom Delay is NOT the Delay I was referring to in the title of this post.)


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Kai and Rick (Best Buy dudes) rap about Enertia

Why Best Buy is Roaring Into the Electric-Bike Market

By: Kate Rockwood

The Brammo Enertia bike, sponsored by Best Buy | Photograph by Finlay MackayThe Brammo Enertia bike, sponsored by Best Buy | Photograph by Finlay Mackay

Kal Patel
Executive Vice President of Emerging Business
Rick Rommel
Senior Vice President of Emerging Business
Best Buy
Richfield, Minnesota

Best Buy’s Kal Patel, 45, and Rick Rommel, 49, are expanding the idea of consumer electronics by exploring home energy and green personal transportation. First up is the $12,000 Brammo Enertia electric bike, which the company will debut nationally by year’s end. Best Buy also sponsored Brammo’s team in the TTXGP electric-bike race on the Isle of Man.

Patel: “We are looking at industries in turmoil. They hold a lot more opportunity, and you can’t turn on the 6 o’clock news without hearing about gas prices, energy, or health.”
Rommel: “We’re aggressively experimenting with a broad array of personal-transportation ideas — and in other markets that are going through substantive change. You look at energy and, boy, it’s not hard to map out how the consumer is going to experience changes in home-power management and home automation. Technology is at the heart of it all.”
Patel: “When we enter a new space that the public doesn’t quite expect us to be in yet, like electric bikes, we take a venture-capital mind-set. We invested millions in Brammo after our first meeting, in order to be taken seriously.”
Rommel: “Years ago, Best Buy didn’t sell cell phones or even computers. Best Buy brings consumers the technology in their lives. The Brammo bike is really a computer and a battery on wheels.”

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