In May, we posted an article on Best Buy's intention to start carrying electric scooters and cycles. In June, sixteen manufacturers competed in the world's first electric superbike race, the Isle of Man TTXGP. Well, as of this month the commercial version of one of the TTXGP’s top finishers is available for sale in the U.S. at west-coast Best Buy stores. The Brammo Enertia goes on sale in mid to late August, becoming arguably the first highway-capable all-electric vehicle to be sold by a major national retailer in this country. Repairs and service will be handled by Best Buy's service department (in other words, the Geek Squad is now fixing motorcycles!).
Like the recently released Zero-s, the Brammo Enertia will be marketed primarily to the urban commuter, but with a top speed of 65 mph it runs just fast enough for the occasional out-of-town jaunt (although with an average range of fifty miles, not too far out of town). Designed from the ground up as a "real" motorcycle, the Enertia shares many suspension components with current ICE machines and ride reports say that Brammo has met its goal in terms of handling. The front forks are Marzocchi. The brakes are Brembo. The swing arm is made by a Harley-Davidson supplier. For added "green" cachet the bodywork and seat are all made of different recycled materials, while the frame is Aluminum.
It's not surprising that market penetration by the all-electric vehicle would, Tesla aside, be led by motorcycles. Lighter weight is, after all, the best solution to the lower-than-liquid-fuel energy density of current battery technologies. But it's not entirely clear that machines like the Enertia , although rapidly being pushed off the fringes and into the commercial mainstream, are going to do well at prices of approximately $10,000.00 per unit, particularly in the performance-oriented motorcycle world. Best Buy is clearly betting that the Enertia's efficiency, lack of required maintenance and fuel-free cachet will get it over the hump.
[SOURCE:Los Angeles Times]