Batteries Included Electric motorcycles are set to take off in 2010, and three West Coast startups are leading the pack. But will the macho motorcycle world accept bikes that run silently--and are sold and serviced at Best Buy?
The Brammo Enertia is green. Not just any shade, but one that is eye popping, verdant, almost alive. It's a sledgehammer of a color for a zero-emission motorcycle that walks the greenie talk even further with an outer shell made from recycled water bottles.
Think the Toyota Prius is eco? There's a new category of even more environmentally friendly vehicles, and they're balancing on two wheels. Three West Coast startups are leading the way, and they're all making e-motorcycles for the same reasons major automakers are racing to bring plug-ins to market: There's no spewing of greenhouse gases while they're running. They don't use gasoline. They plug into conventional wall outlets and cost just pennies per mile to run. At current gas prices, an average American commuter could save $1,200 per year on fuel alone.
But unlike electric cars--which will take years to work their way through the pipeline and into drivers' hands--electric motorcycles are being sold now, and sold for relatively cheap. Most current models cost less than $10,000, and there are models in the works expected to sell soon for about $6,000.