Brammo Will Participate in The Electric Versus Gas Showdown at MiniMotoSX Second annual “Energy Crisiscross”!

April 29, 2011 at 11:42 am

Irvine, Calif. (April 29, 2011) The MiniMotoSX event has been a proving grounds for electric motorcycle technology for several years now. After a few years of demonstration races (The first of which included former Supercross champion Jeff Emig), last year the electric bikes were combined with the 16 inch wheel gas bikes in a head to head battle. The gas powered bikes, which are limited to air cooled “play bikes”, proved to be out gunned as the electric bikes dominated the class by taking the top six positions. 2011 will be a chance for redemption for the gas powered racers and further bragging rights for the battery powered bikes, which is expected to include at least onenew-to-dirt brand trying to up the ante.

Drew Gosselaar rode a Quantya to the victory last year but was joined on the podium by Chris Dvorack and former World Motocross Champion Sebastian Tortelli riding Zero’s. It is difficult to pick a favorite for 2011 as Quantya has not shared any plans for an official effort while Zero has factory Husqvarna WORCS/EnduroCross competitor Jamie Lanza joining their test rider and engineering technician, Trevor Doniak and Dirt Rider Associate Editor Chris Green all aiming for the top step of the podium. And to make the second annual Energy Crisiscross more interesting, Brammo, which has a proven line of electric street bikes and a frontrunner in electric motorcycle road racing events has thrown their hat into the ring. Brammo has been guarded with the details about the bike and riders but you can expect some major announcements next week. If you want to see what could be the future of fun in the dirt, you need to get out to Vegas on Friday, May 6th.

Make your plans now to head out to Vegas for Monster Energy AMA Supercross weekend a little early so you can race for an AMA #1 plate or catch the Friday night show. You can find race entry and event info at and the new South Point Hotel host has ticket and room packages available at

For rules and race information visit or email

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Second Life for Electric Vehicle Batteries

April 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Second life for electric vehicle batteries? No, it’s not a world of electric virtual avatars–it’s a plan under development by the DOE, the NREL and the CCSE to develop applications for spent car batteries.

The U.S Department of Energy (DOE), through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), recently announced a $1.3 million dollar project to study and test secondary uses for electric vehicle batteries in a partnership with the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE).

Cost of the program will be split between the DOE, paying for 51%, and CCSE partners, who include UC Davis, UC Berkley, UC San Diego, San Diego Gas & Electric, and AreoVironment. Currently, electric vehicle batteries can be extremely expensive to the consumer and the environment, but the study hopes to find ways to offset initial cost and delay recycling.

Focusing on lithium-ion batteries, the team will determine the potential for the used materials to be incorporated into electrical systems for residential and commercial management. One area the coalition will specifically target is the ability of batteries to make power for the grid from wind and solar resources.

Following initial economic and technical analysis, researchers will begin testing used batteries within UC San Diego’s campus electric power grid. The goal of the study is to validate battery life, provide recommendations for design and manufacturing regulatory changes, and asses the cost benefit of battery reuse.


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Charging Your EV At Night Could Help Diminish Harmful Ozone Levels

April 27, 2011 at 10:58 am

A recent study shows that charging your electric vehicle at night could help diminish harmful pollutants at the Earth’s surface. The study was conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Texas and looked at different charging habits of electric vehicle (EV) drivers in four cities in Texas and how they affect levels of air pollutants. The researchers found that in addition to nighttime charging being more cost effective and reliable — less power being used means more, cheaper power for your car — it also decreases the levels of ground pollutants including ozone.

The research was conducted in the metro areas of Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio where the electric grid is made up of roughly 46% gas, 35% coal, 13% nuclear and 4.5% wind power. The researchers made a model of the area supposing a future level of 20% electric vehicle owners and then calculated the grid emissions from various charging habits. The first scenario was charging at night, the second was charging whenever it was convenient and the third was charging just before a trip and only as much as you need.

It was found that all three scenarios — at a 20% population level — created lower emissions than the equivalent amount of gasoline. The researchers also discovered that charging at night released a much lower amount of pollutants into the atmosphere, most notably those that create ground level ozone. The pollutants that are released by the grid during the night generally dissipate before morning, making them less harmful. Ground level ozone is quite harmful to the respiratory systems of humans and animals and can be hugely damaging to plant life. The researchers hope their study will lead to a push towards developing policy that will encourage nighttime charging. “As more of the fleet switches over to PHEVs and a larger demand is placed on the electricity grid, it will become more important that we design and implement policy that will encourage charging behaviors that are positive for both air quality and grid reliability,” said lead author of the study Dr. Tammy Thompson of MIT.

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LCC Charging Station

April 26, 2011 at 11:13 am

On a visit to Lane Community College, one of Brammo’s employees took this photo:

Lane Community College, located in Eugene, Oregon, received a $100,000 grant from EWEB to build a solar-powered electric vehicle charging station for students and the community. EWEB’s Greenpower customers voted for the LCC project from among five local renewable energy and education projects.  A grid of solar panels was constructed that has 36 outlets to recharge plug-in electric or hybrid vehicles on the main LCC campus.

This charging station project has created opportunities for students to learn about how to install, repair and service the new solar array.  The college hopes that this solar vehicle charging station will lower the community’s carbon footprint, will generate renewable energy, and will help the community learn more about the emerging technology of plug-in vehicles.

It’s cool how solar charging is popping up all around Oregon State!  I am looking forward to the day where solar charing is considered ordinary is no longer a novelty.

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Brammo’s Own Paul Daniels Wins EBRR

April 25, 2011 at 10:53 am

Paul Daniels, a Battery Guru at Brammo, recently won the EBRR with his homemade e-bike! The EBRR is a motorized bicycle racing event.  Most of the bikes that raced were gas powered. There were some other battery powered bikes that raced, but most of them experienced technical difficulties or crashed.

The “Moped Class” electric machine that Paul created and raced used about 3500 watts of power (4 hp)  The bike’s lightweight design seemed to be the key factor to Paul’s first place prize.  Rider skill is also a big part of this sport.  Paul is that guy in the office who would pedal to work even if the four horsemen were galloping over the horizon.

Here’s the video of the race captured from the 3rd place finisher.  The 2nd and 3rd place winners were running “high power” (10+ hp) gasoline engined mopeds:

Congratulations Paul!

The History of Earth Day

April 22, 2011 at 10:37 am

Earth Day is a day that is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. While this first Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations.   Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year.   Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues. In 2009, the United Nations designated April 22 International Mother Earth Day.

According to Senator Nelson, the moniker “Earth Day” was “an obvious and logical name” suggested by “a number of people” in the fall of 1969, including, he writes, both “a friend of mine who had been in the field of public relations” and “a New York advertising executive,” Julian Koenig. Koenig, who had been on Nelson’s organizing committee in 1969, has said that the idea came to him by the coincidence of his birthday with the day selected, April 22; “Earth Day” rhyming with “birthday,” the connection seemed natural. Other names circulated during preparations—Nelson himself continued to call it the National Environment Teach-In, but press coverage of the event was “practically unanimous” in its use of “Earth Day,” so the name stuck.

On the first Earth Day, over 20 million people participated.

Now more than 500 million people and several national governments in 175 countries have taken part in this celebration.  Happy Earth Day everyone!

All the information for this posting was found at

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Brammo Empulse: One of the Top 8 Bikes to Watch

April 21, 2011 at 11:04 am

Fast Company has listed the Brammo Empulse as one of the top 8 electric scooters/motorcycles to watch.  A recent report came out showing that electric motorcycle and scooter sales are starting to go up.  Below are some forecasts for different electric scooter and motorcycle markets:

  • North America will grow to 41,146 in annual sales of e-motorcycles by 2017. E-scooters: 27,971.
  • Western Europe will grow to 109,945 annual sales of e-motorcycles by 2017. E-scooters: 91,625.
  • Asia Pacific will grow to 2.7 million in annual sales of e-motorcycles by 2017. E-scooters: 19.6 million.
  • China is the largest market, with a forecast of 2.26 million e-motorcycles and 13.53 million e-scooters by 2017. (Interestingly, China bans traditional motorcycles, but e-cycles skirt regulations.)

Here is the link to the Fast Company article and slideshow of the 8 electric scooters and motorcycles:

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Top Ten Electric Car Initiatives Globally

April 20, 2011 at 9:44 am

Countries around the world are setting up electric car initiatives to make EVs more accessible and widely available for use by the general public.  Here are the top 10 global electric vehicle initiatives:

1) Germany’s Electric Car Initiative. The German government is funding $700 million into electric mobility test initiatives, including plans for the development of a charging station infrastructure.

2) Washington D.C. Sponsored Electric Vehicle Initiative. An international committee was formed with various countries who have agreed to create pilot city programs for the promotion of electric vehicle demonstrations and dissemination of information regarding vehicle technology development and electric vehicle deployment targets.  These countries are committed to make the mass adoption of EVs a reality.

3) United States – China Electric Vehicles Initiative. The Chinese and American governments have agreed to work together in a variety of cities in both the United States and China to build a solid electric vehicle infrastructure and to spread information on the benefits of EVs.

4) Taiwan Electric Car Initiative. The country currently provides subsidies for people buying electric motorcycles.  The government plans on creating new policies to promote the purchase of electric cars in the near future.   Many analysts predict Taiwan could prove to be a leader in the electric car market.

5) United Kingdom Electric Car Initiative. The United Kingdom is providing incentives up to GBP 5000 toward the purchase of plug-in or electric hybrid vehicles. The government is also putting GBP 20 million to go towards the creation of a network of charging stations and the establishment of “electric car cities” around the country.

6) Israeli Electric Car initiative. In Israel, the California-based company named Better Place, will be providing the necessary infrastructure for electric cars, including 500,000 charging stations and 200 battery-exchange centers. The Israeli government has decreased taxes on the purchase of electric cars to make it  possible for Israelis more able to purchase EVs.

7) Belfast Electric Vehicles Initiative. The objectives of this plan are to look at a number of pilot studies of other electric car initiatives and see how they were carried out and the funding required. Then the initiative would organize the data to see what works and what doesn’t work and how to overcome obstructions for the use of electric vehicles in Belfast.

8 ) Australia Clean Driving Initiative. The objective of this program is to promote education on sustainable options for transportation.

9) London Becomes International Electric Car Capital. London wishes to become the International Electric Car Capital. Because of their large carbon footprint, London is introducing 100,000 electric cars, along with 25,000 charging stations in an effort to decrease their problems with carbon emissions.

10) Canada Electric Car Initiative. A government council has been formed to make new laws, including amending bylaws to allow for low speed electric cars on city streets without getting in trouble.

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Will EVs Be The Next Red/Blue Divide?

April 19, 2011 at 11:32 am

Could electric vehicles be the new topic for republicans and democrats to argue about, or can it be something red and blue can agree upon?  A map showing the top 25 cities ready for mass EV adoption was recently released.  As you can see, it appears that the flyover states aren’t ready for electric vehicles.  The cities that have the fastest growing EV infrastructures are cities that have formed EV advisory panels (made up of including city and utility officials as well as electric vehicle manufacturers/dealers). These panels appear to be in cities that are in mostly democratic states.

These top 25 cities have made it easy to “obtain permits for home charging stations, working with utility companies to set up cheaper rates during the night (when people will charge), and using an urban planning approach to public charge station locations–meaning that they look at traffic flows and where people spend their parked time to determine charging locations. All of which means that the government needs to interfere in our lives a little more to make electric cars a feasible reality.”

I think that both conservatives and liberals have recognized that do need an alternative to gas burning vehicles.  What this recognition is based on is a hornet’s nest that I don’t want to play with, but hopefully red and blue can work together and make this country green!

Note: Yes, indeed. Atlanta is in Georgia, not Alabama. Fast Company is letting Ford know.

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138 Million Electric Motorcycles and Scooters to be on the Road Worldwide by 2017

April 18, 2011 at 11:06 am

In many parts of Europe and Asia two-wheeled vehicles are a primary mode of transportation.  Electric motorcycles and electric scooters are becoming more and more popular in other areas due to higher fuel costs.  According to a new report from Pike Research, the number of e-motorcycles and e-scooters on the road (worldwide) will increase from 17 million in 2011 to 138 million by 2017.

“Electric motorcycles and scooters have strong appeal for many consumers,” says senior analyst Dave Hurst. “They are relatively low cost to own, do not take a lot of space, and are easy to maintain, therefore making them attractive for city dwellers. Governments also like these vehicles because they can utilize existing transportation and electricity infrastructure without the congestion problems and emissions impacts of conventional automobiles.”

Analysts believe that North America will have the highest electric motorcycle demand and Europe, Asia and other areas will have a higher electric scooter demand.

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