Friday, September 26, 2008

Enertia Electric Motorcycle Available at Best Buy?



Brammo (parent company of the Enertia electric motorcycle) has obtained $10 million in VC (venture capital) funding from two sources to help push the Enertia (http://www.enertiabike.com/) into regular production. One of which is Best Buy (www.bestbuy.com/).

Photo via: Autoblog Green

Here is the link to the interesting news via Autoblog Green this week: (http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/09/23/brammo-gets-funding-for-enertia-electric-motorcycle/).

The fact that Best Buy is staking a claim in the Enertia EM is significant on a multitude of levels. First, is that a mainstream consumer electronics retailing giant is even aware of a motorcycle product. Second, is that they obviously see Brammo as a serious player in this very young motorcycle segment, and are willing to back them. Third, is that this opens the door to an entirely new way of thinking about how motorcycles may be marketed and sold. All are significant pieces, but the potential for a motorcycle to be sold as a consumer product alongside HDTV’s, laptops, and cell phones is a mind blower.

The potential is there to create a cultural shift in the perception of a motorcycle… and a motorcyclist. Taking the average citizen from the local motorcycle shop to the local shopping mall is a new way of thinking (other than the fact that you could buy small IC motorcycles and scooters at department stores in the 60’s) in modern times. The potential of placing a motorcycle product in right in front of a massive and varied demographic is fascinating. This would be a bold step into uncharted territory for any company. EnvironMoto will keep tabs on this story!

3 comments:

skadamo said...

Hi Christian, glad I found this post. I too am very intrqued by this affiliation. Never thought about the marketing potential of putting the bike infront of massive non-riders. Smart. And dangerous. I hope, if they do sell the bikes at Best Buy, that they push motorcycle training classes. Another concern is dealer prep that usually happens with a new bike. Brammo would need to do this work in thier factory. Or Best Buy would need a mechanic / tech on duty.

Then we need to consider things like changing tires, bleeding brakes, replacing brake pads, etc. You need the equipement and training for this type of thing. Serious liablity is involved for a botched job.

I am definitely not saying I am not for a Best Buy dealership. Of course, I am not a dealership owner :D If this takes off it will really change the game for road going vehicles. Is electric really that different than gas or is Brammo just taking a leap that established companies dare not take? Why not sell the Chevy Volt at walmart?

Christian said...

Skadamo: Thanks for checking in! I hope to profile other interesting manufacturers and builders over time as well as provide current news in the EM world. That reminds me that I have to call back Quantya this week…

I agree with you on the need for proper infrastructure to support a motorcycle line. As you have mentioned, all the normal motorcycle maintenance duties must still be performed, and a stock of service and replacement parts kept in stock.

After thinking about it more (and purely speculating) I think Best Buy could easily pull it off. Stocking parts is not a problem as they already have a massive national warehouse system in place. They could probably get a part more quickly than the local Honda dealer. Support and service probably aren’t a big deal either as every Best Buy I’ve seen already has at least one service bay for automotive audio/video installations. It would just be a matter of hiring a couple of technicians and designating a shop space. They also have Geek Squad at a separate kiosk (as if it’s run as a separate entity) and even do at-home service and installations… Hey, if you have a problem or require service on your EM, maybe they just drive a box van to your location, load the bike up, run diagnostics and either fix it on the spot or take it back to Best Buy for service. For a company with capital like Best Buy has, it probably wouldn’t be a big trick to keep a stocked box van with a tire machine and replacement parts on board.

Christian said...

Hello again skadamo! I hope that you return to this blog and read this comment. I was unaware of ElectricMotorcycleForum.com until today. I wish that you had mentioned it in your comment! I see that you are an Admin, but I assume this is your baby as well. I have to tell you it’s an excellent site and I’ve signed up today.