The Enertia: Not Riding Lighting — But Close Enough

February 07, 2009 | Erik Miller | Comments 0

enertia300x250By Erik Miller

If there is an electric motorcycle that can bring green commuting home, it’s the Enertia from Brammo Motorsports. The Enertia won’t replace the 2009 BMW F 800 GS you just put in your garage, but it could become your new commuting machine.

Its urban look, low emissions, and a high fun-to-ride ratio will keep you from losing any cred with your colleagues while the 45 miles per 3-hour charge it’ll take you is enough for the average U.S. commute (which is 29 miles).

In the range of an average 250cc motorcycle, the electric engine has 100% of its torque available from a standstill. It weighs in at 275 lbs, which no doubt helps it to reach 30 mph in 3.8 seconds. Not bad.

“We’re passionate about combining great design with great engineering,” notes Craig Bramscher, chairman and CEO of Brammo Motorsports. “The Enertia is proof that it is possible to create a Earth friendly performance vehicle.”

Tuning Your Ride

No worries about making your commute — or not making it home: the Enertia comes with a software package called Momentum which allows you to download your riding information to better tune it to your own riding style. If you’re a heavy-handed sort of commuter, you can max out to the top setting and have some fun, but if you need to stretch out your commute, it’s better to lay off the throttle and set your ride to a lower level.

enertiaride300x250Here’s some wild math: using the economic calculator on the Enertia web site

. . . if you calculate gas per gallon at $1.88 and electricity per mile at $.02, then the Enertia essentially gets 94 miles per gallon. That is as close as you’re going to get to a free ride. But if the green factor and not the cost savings is going to sell this ride, you should know the Enertia has 21.8 Well-To-Wheel CO2 emissions while a Toyota Prius has 130.4 Well-To-Wheel emissions. Well-To-Wheel emissions  is the total emissions used. In the case of the Enertia, the emissions come from the plants that generate the power required to move the bike around.

The Enertia should be shipping its serialized limited edition run of 99 Enertia Carbon Limited models in Q1 of 2009, and you can snap up one of those for $14,995. If you’re not a collector then you can expect to grab yours in Q2 for $11,995. If you’re curious about the cost savings of commuting on the Enertia, check out the estimated savings to learn your pay back period. The hefty price tag is the biggest drawback to the early adoption of this bike.


The closest competitor to the Enertia is perhaps the Vectrix 2009 Vx-1. It taps out at 62 mph and costs less, but it’s definitely still a scooter . . . and sorry, in my world scooters are relegated to campuses, Italian cities, and small islands. Brammo, bring on the Enertia!

Filed Under: DesirousFeaturedGear


About the Author: Erik Miller is a contributing writer for, as well as an IT project manager for a Fortune 500 tech company. A former Marine, Erik once had to navigate across a desert at night with a broken flashlight. A glowing watch face provided just enough illumination to get the job done -- it's the kind of experience that makes a guy appreciate technology. To contact him, try firstname.lastname@ . . . etc.

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