free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 398. ELECTRONICS STORES SELLING TRANSPORTATION

Friday, March 13, 2009


Here's an interesting new wrinkle I hadn't thought of. The US electronics/appliance retailer BestBuy is planning to market an electric motorcycle, The Brammo Enertia:
Best Buy is getting into motorcycles – think Geek Squad in mechanics' coveralls.

The consumer electronics store chain is going to start selling the Enertia electric motorcycle made by Ashland, Ore.-based startup Brammo at five of its West Coast stores in May, CEO Craig Bramscher said Friday.

In time, Bramscher envisions the $12,000 Enertia, as well as Brammo's upcoming lighter-duty and heavier two-seater models, being sold across Best Buy's chain of 1,200 U.S. stores, as well as some of its 1,500 or so stores in Europe and its 270 stores in China.Source
Here's the photo and the specs:

Top speed: 50+ mph
Recharge time: ~3 hrs
Range: 35-45 miles
MPG equivalent: 276
Price: US$ 12000

This one's a little pricey, but even today it has dozens of hungry competitors, many at much lower prices. It makes you wonder: are conventional car manufacturers and dealers yesterday's news? Why wouldn't electric manufacturers and retailers muscle in on scooters and other LEVs (Light EVs)? After all, they're just another electrical appliance. Just as we can expect electric companies to behave more like (or be taken over by) oil companies in the coming post-oil EV era, perhaps we should expect existing electronics/electric firms to play an increasing role in vehicle manufacturing and retailing. It's like I said a while back: electric scooters are going to be the next ipod. We'll be stamping them out by the millions, in 8 trendy colors.
by JD


At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 7:28:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

As always, please use the Name/URL option (you don't have to register, just enter a screen-name) or sign your anonymous post at the bottom. ANONYMOUS POSTS ARE SUBJECT TO DELETION.
Thank you!

At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 7:29:00 AM PDT, Blogger Barba Rija said...

12k is pricey. I'll wait till they sell by 2-5k (depending on specs and quality), and I'll buy me one ;).

At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 7:37:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where do you attach the pizza warmer?

Andy's mom

At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 7:44:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

They've got cheap ones out there Barba, and they'll be getting cheaper as time goes on. I'm compiling a list of LEVs (e-bikes, e-scooters, e-motorcycles, ultra-small EV cars), and it's amazing how many types are on the market, or coming soon. The dinosaurs like GM are dying, but the LEV rats are rapidly multiplying.

At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 8:14:00 AM PDT, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

I truly think electric personal transportation is the wave of the future. I already am on the waiting list for a Phoenix car.

And I email Aptera every month asking them when they are going to let me buy one of their cars even though I don't live in California.

I am seriously going to check into this bike. I wish the range was more like 100 miles and the price was more like $5K. I still may buy one.


At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 8:44:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cute little mite ;-) Recharge time could be even shorter soon - more like a stop at the gas station, which will help with the range.

At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 9:04:00 AM PDT, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

Your link didn't work for me. Were you referring to this new tech?


At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 9:16:00 AM PDT, Blogger Bloggin' Brewskie said...

I know CAT introduced electric mining equipment in Las Vegas last year, and they're also in the midst of developing an all-electric version of their CAT 797 (the dump truck of the gods that tears hell in Alberta).

At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 9:20:00 AM PDT, Blogger Sean Daugherty said...

Mmm, I don't know. I think electronics stores are getting in on the game because traditional car dealers aren't, but I think the long-term trend is going to be for a retailer more closely resembling contemporary car/motorcycle dealers to emerge with a focus on electric vehicles. Whether or not these dealers evolve out of modern electronics stores or out of the old school car dealers, though, is an open question.

Still, this is nifty. Like Barba, it's a little pricey for my tastes, but it's a definitely a step in the right direction.

At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 9:45:00 AM PDT, Anonymous benny "centipede glut" cole said...

The advances being made in batteries are interesting. I think we will see a lithium battery with double the range and much more rapid recharge within 10 years, commercialized.
For the American Southwest, such e-bikes make great sense. I'd guess not so much in a Chicago winter!
Still, if the price comes down to $2-3k, I think these will sell very well. If oil ever does go back over $100 a barrel, then an e-bike will pay for itself quickly, depending of course on length of commute.
I am scared of getting whacked while commuting. Drivers in L.A. would happily run over a biker to get to work on time. And regard it as the biker's fault for not being in a big car.

At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 10:07:00 AM PDT, Blogger popmonkey said...

the best way to prevent motorcycle crashes is if more people ride motorcycles. seriously, here in california regular drivers are very aware of motorcyclists.

yes, it's still more dangerous than sitting in a hummer (snicker), but the more bikes there are on the streets the better. in europe and asia there's so many 2 wheelers that cagers (aka 4+ wheel vehicle drivers) rarely get surprised or say "i had no idea the bike was there!" like they do here in america.

yes, weather is a factor, but for short commutes and errands, nothing beats a 2 wheeler. i ride year round and i did even when i lived in Seattle (6 months of rain) and you get used to it. aerostitch suits are incredible in the wet. cold? get a heated vest and grips. you get to work, slip off the suit in 10 seconds (it's a brilliant design) and your clothes are dry.

it's not for everyone but even a 10% shift to 2 wheelers would tremendously cut down on: energy usage per capita, highway congestion, parking problems, distractions during the commute. and it's a blast.

btw, for those worried about the "fun" factor, electric motorcycles have amazing torque. there's a guy here who is building a custom EV powerplant into a honda XR650 chassis and it looks like a kickass project.

At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 10:09:00 AM PDT, Blogger popmonkey said...

benny, i don't buy your comment about LA at all. i've ridden in LA and everyone is very conscious of motorcycles there. the problem with LA is that they'd run down anyone to get to work. nuns, women and children, the works ;)

At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 10:12:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Babun said...

Can't imagine many people buying for that price. For just the specs i suppose it'd be nice. Charge time/range ratio could be better too. One would assume that lightweight vehicles like scooters would be the first ones to have a flexible charge time/range ratio.

At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 10:16:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doctor JJ, that's the stuff I meant. For those fearing wet, cold and other drivers, look at cabin cycles/scooters. With some sort of a roof over your head, drivers do give you more room (don't know why, but that's my experience).

At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 12:15:00 PM PDT, Blogger OptimisticDoomer said...

I truly think electric personal transportation is the wave of the future. I already am on the waiting list for a Phoenix car.

Ok, I am in love. How much are they selling for?? They sound too good to be true. 100 mile range? With electric cars like that, truly why will peak oil be an issue?

At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 12:18:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It defintely looks cool but it's a little pricey.

At half the price it's reasonable.


At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 12:22:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"They sound too good to be true. 100 mile range? With electric cars like that, truly why will peak oil be an issue?"

The dinky little th!nk city with a 120 miles range, top speed of 75mph, built for a Norwegian Winter, is coming to North America later this year. They're priced at around $20K and the monthly lease is $90 for the batteries.

I had the pleasure to get a ride in one of them in Oslo when I was there last summer. It's a sweet ride and though it's not as peppy as some higher end vehicles, it's definitely adequate to get to work and shoot over to the supermarket for some groceries and to the gym/movie theater etc. It won't work to drive out to the mountains or the beach but, heh, I only do that a handful of times a year versus 200 some to go to work etc.

If the volt or plug in prius or plug in escape isn't available I'd take one of these without batting an eyelid.


At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 12:27:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And there's this:

Ford's electric minivan concept based around Smith Electric Vehicle's transit connect. 120 mile range top speed 75mph.
This puppy could be ready to roll at any moment if there's sufficient interest.

If the price was $35K or less I'd buy one of these puppies right now.


At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 5:53:00 PM PDT, Anonymous benny "centipede glut" cole said...


Of course, there are friendly, or unfriendly, drivers in every city. And yes, when in Bangkok, I would ride a bike.
The problem is, you only have to get whacked once, by one driver, ever. At more than age 50, the body does not handle a tumble on the asphalt like it used to.
That said, I probably would get a $2-3k e-bike if gasoline ever goes to $4 a gallon again. At 12 gallons a week, I would get my money in one year.
Another year or two is gravy, and then I migrate to Thailand.
But be wary: In Thailand the number of teenage boys who die on motorcycles is heart-rending.

At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 6:12:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm guessing, the aftermarket, add-on products are already gearing up.

Sure sign of hit product.

Thanks for posting, JD!!!

At Friday, March 13, 2009 at 6:14:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry, the last post was me, anon,... R.Dobbs

At Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 7:22:00 AM PDT, Anonymous kolm said...

This is ridiculously overpriced. An admittedly slower electric scooter, e-max, sells for 3k €, roughly 4.5k$. A LI-ion powered EM2500L is priced at 3.7k€ in Germany, about 5.4k$. While still capped at 30km/h for taxing/admittance reasons, it boasts about 160km reach on paper.

At Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 7:23:00 AM PDT, Anonymous kolm said...

Edit: 45km/h, roughly 30mph.

At Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 11:12:00 AM PDT, Blogger Carl said...

How much of that $12,000 scooter is made out of petroleum products?

How much petroleum did it take to pull all the parts through the supply chain?

How much petroleum did it take to manufacture the machine?

How much petroleum did it take to transport the packaged machines to a distribution center?

How much petroleum did it take to truck it the the store?

How much petroleum did it take to get all the employees at all levels to work?

How much coal does it take to charge for one cycle?

Just wondering...

The Urban Lenny

At Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 11:15:00 AM PDT, Blogger Lenny said...

So can I go get one of these at Circuit City?

At Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 11:39:00 AM PDT, Blogger Ari said...


Typical doom-style tactic.

"Electric transportation doesn't do any good because there's some oil used in the process of moving toward it! We're still doomed!"

Never mind that the amount of oil used in manufacturing represents a small fraction of the oil used in transportation!

Never mind that once you get greater numbers of people on electric transportation, you reduce the aggregate demand for oil.

And coal? Now we're worrying about coal?

What's next, peak oxygen?

At Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 12:15:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Mike S. said...

That scooter would get me to work, and back if I could plug it in. Of course it won't help dealing with the 16 deg F mornings this last week. Where is that global warming when you need it?

My Honda 750 will be back on the road soon. Eventually it will warm up. It's almost time to start my peppers and tomatoes.

And Ari, it's peak lithium you need to worry about ;-)

At Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 12:35:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ari said...


No no, it's "peak everything" now. That's the new problem. Lithium isn't scary enough. We're running out of everything.

Just not bandwidth for stupid fears.

At Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 3:56:00 PM PDT, Blogger Barba Rija said...

Ari, relax a little, get a vacation from the internet. You're fast descending from a patient and gentle person to a grumpy old man.

Or perhaps you tried to lift to much weight with your shoulders. Believe Einstein, when he said that human stupidity and the universe were the two infinite things in life. You're not gonna change that.

At Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 7:28:00 PM PDT, Blogger JD said...

How much petroleum did it take...

Based on the oil intensity of the economy, it takes approximately 6 barrels of oil to produce, transport and market the Energia. So a person driving it saves enough oil to produce another one about every 3 months. In other words, the more people drive EVs like this one, the more oil is freed up to build more EVs.

At Sunday, March 15, 2009 at 7:12:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carl, when you Throw some thing away, there is no away. When you burn something it goes into the atmosphere but not away. I believe that is the theme of this blog. If these machines were made with the help of alternative energy, less oil used. If at lifes end the material is recycled less oil used. Peakoil debunked. JC Sr

At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 10:24:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No no, it's "peak everything" now. That's the new problem. Lithium isn't scary enough. We're running out of everything."


When the doomers say this it makes me laugh. It's like they're saying: we have used ALL of the available minerals in the Earths crust we can get at using petroleum. Since we have no petroleum, we can't get any more.

Conveniently ignoring that guys with picks can get minerals out of rock. Hint to doomers: people don't use petroleum to hit picks off of mineral seams.

Also conveniently ignoring that elevators in mineshafts use ELECTRICITY.

Also conveniently ignoring that the explosives to blast down deeper into the crust doesn't use petroleum or the drilling equipment to drill down into the crust can use ELECTRICITY.



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