Brammo Motorsports did something rather dramatic. As the story goes, they were looking at an open prototype of an Enertia and commenting how it looked more like a piece of consumer electronics than a motorcycle due to its massive amount of electronics. So why not sell it at a consumer electronics store?
They did just that. The next thing you know, Best Buy is making a serious investment in Brammo and Enertias are being sold in select Best Buy locations alongside their other EV scooters and bicycles. I feel a little torn about this idea. As a geek, I think it's terrific. Best Buy has plenty of locations that can offer the Enertia in the future. They've got easy financing. They unfortunately have the Geek Squad, but I'm sure a Geek Squad member with EV certification will be of a somewhat higher caliber. The motorcyclist in me feels bad for the genuinely good mom and pop dealerships out there that are missing out on the chance to get in on one of the first commercially viable EV motorcycles. As for the mega-slimeball-dealerships, I say screw them! Let them peddle their fuel guzzling Harley's and PWCs.
How to Buy an Enertia
When I finally went to pull the trigger, I was a little confused by Brammo's site. It appears that they have direct sales. And personally, I'd prefer to buy direct than buy from Best Buy unless they could offer me some sort of reduced shipping or something.
Well come to find out, Best Buy is the only way to get one right now, AND they provide some nice incentives. When I attempted to order through Brammo's site, it said that direct sales are not available and to send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. I quickly got a response to my inquiry indicating that all sales are going through Best Buy, so I contacted them.
So here are some easy steps to buying your Enertia.
- If you live on the West Coast, chances are you'll have a Best Buy within a few hours that carries Enertias.
- If you live anywhere else, then visit the site for Best Buy's Portland, Oregon store that sell's Enertias.
- On the main page, you'll see contact information for the store and the two employees that handle Enertia sales. I dealt with Chris Hertz, and have been hugely satisfied. You may want to contact both employees in the event that you catch one of them on a day off.
There are some real advantages with going through Best Buy.
- Best Buy Rewards Zone Card - At first I thought this was a credit card, but it's not. It's a free program that earns you $5 on every $250 purchase. You'll be getting back $160 on the purchase price alone in addition to about $10 back from the shipping and dealer prep fee (fee for doing some final assembly on the bike, changing color panels, updating firmware, testing, and recrating).
- Paperwork - Best Buy does a solid job of getting you a MCO (manufacturer's certificate of origin) and a purchase agreement that serves as a bill of sale. My DMV required another document that I emailed to Chris and he happily filled out for me.
- Shipping - Their shipping rates are quite fair, and came to less than $500 for me from Portland to my door step on the East coast.
- No Sales Tax in Oregon - If you end up ordering through the Oregon store, then you won't have to pay sales tax. This can save you a huge hassle if you live in a state that collects a sales tax or highway use tax when you register the vehicle in the DMV.
- Financing - I've read that Best Buy offers a credit card, and it MAY still have a zero percent interest period.
- Servicing (future) - As Best Buy expands their locations, you'll have more options for servicing. As it stands now, I have a factory warranty, however Brammo might have to fly a technician out of I have any problems. I kind of took a leap of faith in this regard. I'm thinking I could probably fix most any problem I run into with email / phone support and parts from Brammo. I'm not sure if Brammo's comfortable with that liability though.
My Enertia is on the Truck
My Enertia is en route from Portland as I type. I'll post up some photos of the un-crating along with some review comments. I plan on spending a week conditioning the batteries, which involves taking them down to less than 50% and as close to 0% as possible before fully charging them back up and providing extra time on the charger for the cell balancing algorithm to do its job. Then I'll be commuting on it. I hope to track my mileage on a spreadsheet...or maybe on my Nexus One.