I've been toying with the idea of doing an EV (Electric Vehicle) conversion on a motorcycle for some time. Battery technology won't be reaching the same energy density as gasoline or diesel for a while, so to get the same kind of range from an electric automobile as you can from a similarly sized ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) automobile, you need to add an enormous amount of battery weight. This is exactly why bicycles, electric scooters, and incredibly exotic super cars got the EV treatment first.
My EV650 Concept
The Tesla Roadster is out of my price range, and quite frankly I'd rather ride Pee Wee Herman's Bicycle into work than an electric scooter. Luckily I stumbled upon ground zero for EV motorcycle conversions, ElMoto.net. I had the idea that I'd try to find a salvage 2002 Suzuki SV650. I could build the motor as a spare for my racebike, and use the rest for my EV commuter. I even went so far as to mock it up using a model that someone did for Google SketchUp.
I spec'd out the motor, motor controller, and batteries that I'd use. When I added that to the other small spare parts, I had an estimate of over $10,000. I realized that this was going to require some saving before I attempted it. Next thing you know I'm getting laid off and two years go by while I settled into a new job and new town...oh yeah, and recovered from a broken back.
Brammo Motorsports Enertia Powercycle
I had been following the EV motorcycle news and knew that the most promising model out there was Brammo Motorsports' Enertia Powercycle. Brammo took high-quality, off-the-shelf EV components and mated them with a custom frame/subframe/swing-arm and quality street motorcycle components to make an EV motorcycle beyond anything that I could have done. The only thing I had going for my EV650 was price. They came in understandably higher. All that changed when Brammo revealed a massive price drop to $7995 at the end of 2009. I knew right then and there that I was scrapping my EV650 and getting an Enertia in the Spring.
I started reading the Brammo forum on ElMoto.net, and saw that Brian Wismann, the Director of Product Development for Brammo, was a regular poster. Pretty much every question that you have is already answered in that forum, and usually by him. It certainly gave me a lot of confidence that they would be an easy company to get in touch with.
Stay tuned to read about Buying an Enertia.