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Brammo Launches First Production Battery-Electric Motorcycle; Uses Valence Li-Ion Batteries

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The Li-ion Enertia. Click to enlarge.

Brammo Motorsports announced the Enertia, the world’s first production zero-emissions battery-powered plug-in electric motorcycle. 

The chassis integrates six Valence lithium-phosphate batteries in a 3.1 kWh battery pack that powers a permanent magnet DC pancake motor to drive the Enertia to a top speed of more than 50 mph (80 kph). The range of the Enertia is 45 miles (72.4 km), and it requires 3 hours to fully recharge.

Brammo chose Valence for three primary reasons, according to Chairman and CEO Craig Bramscher:

  • Safest available batteries for a motorcycle;

  • Best packaging and integration; and

  • Best availability for mass production in the near term.

Bramscher also noted that “We are always looking at all of the battery/companies, but Valence is clearly our best match right now.

At its quickest setting, the Enertia accelerates from 0 to 30 mph (48 kph) in 3.8 seconds.

Borrowing from racing technology, the Enertia utilizes a carbon fiber chassis producing an ultra-strong, light-weight vehicle platform of just 275 lbs.

We believe consumers are eager to adopt vehicles that have a fraction of the carbon footprint of a today’s cars. Our Enertia electric motorcycle empowers people to make this choice today.

—Craig Bramscher

Brammo has begun taking orders in the US for a limited production model featuring hand-built carbon-fiber chassis and bodywork. Shipping date is 1Q 2008. The standard edition goes for $11,995 and is expected in 3Q 2008.

Brammo’s Enertia is the first of a line of plug-in electric commuter, commercial and recreational vehicles under development.

Resources:

Comments

paul

I have been following Valence for a couple years now.
They might be turning a corner.

On why they choose Valence over A123. Probably because of safety I would guess. But who cares. There will be plenty of room in the the phosphate Lion industry in the future for more that one company. It isn't A123 or Valence. It is Phosphate Lithium Ion vs gasoline.

EV Realist

A major question here is the longevity of the batteries, the warranty on the batteries, and the cost of replacing the batteries.

Valence batteries in Segways are only warranted for one year, and it costs $1,600 to replace them. According to reports on Segway Chat, Segway dealers are starting to see older Valence batteries (two years old) wear out.

EV touts like to compare the cost of powering a vehicle with electricity versus gasoline. But they never take into account the additional initial cost, nor the cost of replacing the batteries. If one of these scooters costs $12K up front and then $6,000 to replace the batteries every two years, that is a very expensive proposition.

Further, the pollution footprint of an EV isn't limited to the cost of manufacturing and disposing the battery. It also includes the fuel burned at the power plant to provide the electricity to recharge the battery.

EV Realist

A major question here is the longevity of the batteries, the warranty on the batteries, and the cost of replacing the batteries.

Valence batteries in Segways are only warranted for one year, and it costs $1,600 to replace them. According to reports on Segway Chat, Segway dealers are starting to see older Valence batteries (two years old) wear out.

EV touts like to compare the cost of powering a vehicle with electricity versus gasoline. But they never take into account the additional initial cost, nor the cost of replacing the batteries. If one of these scooters costs $12K up front and then $6,000 to replace the batteries every two years, that is a very expensive proposition.

Further, the pollution footprint of an EV isn't limited to the cost of manufacturing and disposing the battery. It also includes the fuel burned at the power plant to provide the electricity to recharge the battery.

NeilPackrat

Realist: I think you'll find that the current crop of bats last significantly longer than the older ones. They've gone from hundreds of cycles to thousands. The batteries in these bikes are more likely to last 5 (pessimistic minimum) to 10 years. Even now you can get 3Kwh for 2.5K and the prices are going down.

As for the pollution. I run my bike off of hydro power and will soon be getting solar panels. Calculations have shown that a motorcycle using electricity from all but the dirtiest coal plant is still cleaner than one running on gasoline.

scooterboy

Henrick says: "With real world motorcycles regularly approaching 100 mpg, with far better range and top speeds, I guess I have trouble seeing the need for a slow, short range electric motorcycle at this time. Maybe when gas passes $20 a gallon or something... My bike has a 2.5 gallon tank so it still costs less than $10 to fill it at the pump. In light of that I couldn't contemplate spending 12 grand on a slow, limited range experiment. Push it to a top speed of 70 mph and a range of several hundred miles and then get back to me."

Far better range, and it only takes a few seconds to "recharge" (at the gas pump) vs. 3 hours.

NeilPackrat

Given that I charge my bike at night and have enough range for my entire day, recharge time is irrelevant. Not only that but it takes less time to plug in at home than it does to travel to a gas station, fill it up and pay for it. Not many people travel a couple of hundred miles in one day.

Mahmood

Paul, safety is not the difference. A123 batteries are nano lithium phosphate and as safe or safer than Valence. Valence does not have a leg up on A123.

Mahmood

EV Realist -

A123 warrants its batteries for 5,000 cycles. That is over 10 years. Altair warrants theirs at 30,000 cycles. Valence or no one else can beat the nano lithium phosphates in cycles.

You are also wrong about power plant emissions. Mile for mile, electric vehicles charges by power plants produce only 10% of the GHG and pollutants than gasoline based engines do. EV are 5 timesmore efficient than gasoline engines, to begin with, and then 2 times less emission because combustion is centralized or is hydro/nuclear.

Mahmood

Scooterboy, the new nLiFePO4 batteries can recharge in 10 minutes. Check A123.com

Besides, they do not need a fuel filter replacement like your motorcycle does. Neither do they need an oil change. Or an anti-freeze change. Or a transmission oil change. Or an air filter change. Or a belt change. Or a break pad change. Or a sparkplug change. Or a tuneup. Or a muffler change, if a car. Or a transmission coolant change. Shall I go on?

paul

If you really wanted to do a comparison of A123 vs Valence. Google.org should incorporate at least one Valence plug in hybrid and see how they both did. Make it competitive. Google.org is reporting about 80mpg on it's PHEV where as calcars is reporting 100+mpg with its PHEV powered by Valence batteries. Mahmood, what do you say about that?

paul

Also Valence batteries can be charged using a standard lead acid charger. Don't know if A123 can do that.
But like I said earlier it isn't who is best in the Lion industry. I am routing for everyone in the Lion industry to make advancements. I am sure A123 and Valence will both continue to make advancements and breakthoughs and that is great for all of us!

Mahmood

Paul, what is the battery sizes for the A123 vs. Valence PHEVs? The MPG depends grossly on the battery KWh. To compare apples to apples, they have to be of same size.

A123 spec says they have 2.6 Ah per cell, while Valence is 2.4 Ah per cell.

Therefore, A123 is ahead of Valence.

paul

That is a good question. Not sure on that one. A123 very well could be a little farther along. But here is a good question. Why can't battery makers come up with a good name. I mean come on "Valence", "A123" A five year old could do better than that. "A123" sounds like a really good luggage password. :) That is Spaceballs reference if you missed it.

AES

The limited top speed and range of the Enertia versus the Vectrix might be due in part to the lack of a gear reduction in the Enertia. The Vectrix has a planetary gearset in between the DC motor and the wheels, whereas the Enertia is just a chain link between motor and wheels.
The Vectrix's thinner, smaller wheels also probably help with range.

http://futuredrive.wordpress.com/

AES

With regards to A123 vs. Valence:

Valence actually sells the highest energy cell between the two of them. Their 18650 (laptop format) cells store around 117 Watt-hours/kg. A123's M1 (electric drill) cells are at around 110Wh/kg. The large format Valence cells in this article actually only get 84Wh/kg.

The A123 32 series - which sounds like just a bigger M1 - claims to have better energy density though. I recall reading that the lithium iron phosphate chemistry's maximum capacity is 140Wh/kg, so keep an eye out for a number in that range.

If you live in a cold area: A123 has the edge on operating temp: they go down to -30C, versus -10C for the Valence.

http://futuredrive.wordpress.com/

paul

AES,
Interesting website!
http://futuredrive.wordpress.com/

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