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Brammo Enertia Plus doubles the range but not the price tag

October 19, 2010 |  6:01 am

BrammoEnertiaPlusBrammo, the Oregon-based manufacturer of electric motorcycles, announced its new Enertia Plus today -- a plug-in electric motorcycle capable of traveling twice as far per charge as the bike it introduced a year ago. The Enertia Plus can travel 80 miles per charge  with its 6-kilowatt lithium-ion battery pack -- a feat Brammo has managed with no increase to the vehicle's weight and a $1,000 increase in retail pricing.

"The biggest feedback we had for why people weren't buying the Enertia was range," said Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher. The original Enertia cost $7,995 and could travel 40 miles on a charge.

"We had a breakthrough in battery performance technology and packaging that came out of our original TT bike," said Bramscher, referring to the electric race bike his company ran in the world's first electric superbike race on the Isle of Man in 2009. "We just didn't think we could do it at a reasonable cost for about two to three years." 

The battery cells used in the new Enertia Plus are prismatic, rather than cylindrical, and are 50% to 100% more energy dense, Bramscher said. They are also more expensive, but Brammo's recent partnership with the global electronics manufacturing services firm Flextronics has enabled Brammo to keep the cost down by leveraging Flextronics' global supply chain.

Buyers of the original Brammo cannot upgrade their bikes, but they are eligible for a $2,500 factory rebate from Brammo when they purchase the new $8,995 Plus. The Enertia Plus, like the original Enertia, is eligible for a 10% federal tax credit.

"The EV’s dilemma is power to weight ratio, followed by charging time. You don't want it to be over eight hours for a full charge. We figure for a bike like this, if you have to ride 70-80 miles to work, and can recharge and be ready by the time you leave, you have a 150-160-mile range in a day. That is about all you would need, for 80% of the people."

-- Susan Carpenter

Photo credit: Brammo