September 1, 2009

Great But Could Be Greater: BRAMMO Enertia Powercycle

[Stop Press: Updated Price Closer to $7,000 after Federal tax credit! Way to go Brammo]

So, it now looks like you can now buy a real electric motorbike, for immediate delivery. This is the BRAMMO Enertia Powercycle. It is described by the maker, BRAMMO, as:
"the perfect commuter vehicle for the environmentally conscious visionary. Classic styling joined with the latest technology!"
I think it does look pretty cool, if you go for the industrial gray seen here, rather than the symbolic green. But I also think BRAMMO is doing several things wrong, starting with a six letter name that is all caps. I mean BMW and GMC yes, but it's Honda, not HONDA. Unfortunately, merely switching to lower-case cannot save the actual product name: Enertia. What is that? A lifeless lump? Something that has run out of gas? I know it's green so maybe they meant e-nurture, like nurturing the environment by going electric. Whatever, that name has got to go. If I was lucky enough to have one of these bikes (and in many ways I do want one of these bikes) I would be scratching the name be off there in a flash. Come to think of it, the Brammo Flash is way better than the BRAMMO Enertia.

But I won't be getting one of these bikes, not at $12,000!!! That's right, that's the cost of this device, apparently set that way to make sure film stars and rich people are the only "environmentally conscious visionaries" seen astride this product. To put this in perspective, you can buy two decent low-emission, gas-powered motorbikes for that. Heck, get a 2009 Honda CRF230M for $4,750 and you can brag about getting 90 miles to the gallon, maybe not as green as an e-bike, but a pretty small footprint nonetheless. Are green bragging rights really worth $7K! Shoot, you could buy the Honda and give the $7K to Greenpeace.

[Note: 70 days after I posted this, the price was cut to $7,995 which means the effective price, after Federal Tax Credit = $7,195, and the Brammo is now a serious contender for commuters and street bikers.]

Nope, this is not the way the world shifts to e-vehicles. I am seriously looking at getting a motorbike to use instead of a car when I make my daily run to the post office (which I make because the post office won't deliver to our house). But even if I won the lottery tomorrow it would be hard to justify paying 2X the going price for decent motorbike just to be seen on a BRAMMO Enertia.
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