Brammo Blog: Real World views from a Real Electric Motorcycle

26 06 2012

Blog 2, 6/26/12.

Today we talk about: Holy Moley is it CHEAP to fill up an Electric Motorcycle.

Now I know everybody has seen this image before…it is all over the interwebs.

or this one:

We get a chuckle, a bit of a laugh. Until we are the one driving up to the pump and realize that it is too close to the truth. “Hmmmm, buy needed medication or fill the gas tank?” should never be a thought running through anybody’s head.

Almost everyday I drive by an ironically named gas station: Pump and Save. Hahahahahahahaaaaaa, excuse me, hahahahahahaha. How about some truth in advertizing…Pump and make OPEC happy. Pump and there goes your vacation budget. Pump and kiss your retirement goodbye. Just about anything works, except: Pump and Save.

Even the most economical gas cars are really quite expensive to fill up and drive on a daily basis. Example: Toyota Prius. Good car (a bit fugly) and an industry leading 50 mpg. Good going Toyota!  A Prius owner can go 100 miles for 2 gallons of gas…at 3.50 a gallon that is 5 million dollars….oops, sorry, my math ain’t so hot (neither is me English)….so 7 bucks for 100 miles in a very functional and well built, though slightly fugly, Prius. Not bad! But not great considering it is the best the automobile industry has to offer.

Now look at the Enertia, which I have been lucky enough to ride for the last 8-9 months:

Yes, look at her sitting there in front of the Mountain Lodge off old Rt 66. I love this photo as it make me think of riding the Enertia through the world of Fallout 3, but that is a subject for another blog on another day

The cost to “fill” the Enertia’s “tank” is just about 1 cent a mile to charge up from any 110v wall outlet here in New Mexico. 1 cent a mile = 100 cents for 100 miles…which is like zero dollars to fill up…again, not so good at math.

Actually we are talking (or typing and reading) a hundred miles for a buck. So the Enertia is 7 times cheaper than the best mileage gas car on the road. (and looks hella better and WAY MORE FUN to drive. And that is all proven by SCIENCE.)

And it is because electricity is so much cheaper than gas (and can be renewable and clean—Wind, solar, hydro, tidal, geothermal—Mother Nature is very giving. It’s like moving back in with your parents and sponging off them, but way cooler and no living in the basement with your Cheetos covered “Night Ranger ROCKS” T-Shirt.)

And it works for Electric Cars too. 100 miles in a Nissan LEAF is half the price or less than the Prius. And if you are fortunate enough, or had the foresight and have paid-off solar panels on your roof, well all miles could be essentially free and clean, thanks to Mr. Sun. I love you Mr. Sun…

So when you drive to work, or to the store, or when you’re out shopping to prepare for the coming Zombie Apocalypse, remember the two gas signs above…and know that they could look like this:

Plug and Save…now that is a “fuel” station I would love to see stretching from Sea to Shining Sea. 🙂

Gavin

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Why….

22 09 2010

Ok so lately I’ve gotten a bit “excited” about solar power. Just ask my poor family…sigh. Poor things have to listen to me constantly talk about peak solar power production and micro-inverters vs standard inverters and polycrystalline photovoltaic cells vs monocrystalline silicon. Endlessly. God–I’m a horribly boring human.

And it shouldn’t really be too surprising, my first huge fear back when I was 5 was that the Sun would go super nova (damn you Marvel comics of the 60’s—-though I will forgive you as you did help with my vocabulary). I literally couldn’t sleep as I worried all the time that the Sun would just suddenly explode.

Now I’m older and worry a bit less about the Sun going nova. Now I mostly just ponder, “Mmmm, if the Sun goes nova I wonder what my peak solar power production will be for those few nano seconds before I am vaporized.” Yes, I am that obsessed.

Coinciding with this solar obession is the fairly obviously offshoot of wanting to use only solar power for just about everything.

Clean, freeish (more on that in another post), local in a way….just a nice way to power my computer, lights,  fridge. And hopefully a way to power all my non-human transportation (I still plan to bike and walk and putter about as much as possible). Which leads to:

ELECTRIC TRANSPORTATION

Ok, my commute is rather short (5 to 7 miles each way depending on route–shorter by car or scooter, longer by bike). So say 12 miles round trip. And we have lovely weather here in central New Mexico (310 sunny days. Hardly ever any humidity. Some snow in the winter, but hardly ever horrid). Which is why I’ve been carless for over 5 years. I bike from May to October and ride one of my scooters from October to May. Fun, easy, cheap…and great parking at work . 🙂

Still, when the temperature is  in the teens or less–brrrr— on my early morning commute to work in January/February, well it is times like that when I wonder when I will break down and buy a cage. That and the occasional hail storm, ice storm–the worst–, or being called in late at night and not wanting to “gear-up”. Those days add up a bit as I get older. So I often wonder, “Ok old man, when are you finally going to get a car again?” And that day may be sooner than I thought…more on that in my weekend blog about “Electric CARS.”

So I will likely be getting a car soonish. But on top of that I really want an Electric Motorcycle too.  Why?               Why not 🙂

Actually it just fits me well. I like riding on less than 4 wheels. I ride almost always alone. My commute is short. Why lug around all the weight of a cage? And why use gasoline when I have solar panels on my roof??

So…Been wanting an Electric car for 3 years now. Been wanting Solar Panels. And now I also want an Electric Motorcycle (or scooter…but the Electric motorcycles are just more advanced right now…and actually way cool. Yes I have only ever owned scooters, but maybe now is the time to expand and add a large wheel motorbike to my “collection”). Well with the solar added this summer, one of three down, two to go. 🙂 —Yes Becki I am trying to keep the economy afloat all by myself. Though, sadly, both the future car and motorcycle purchases will likely be in 2011. So I hope the economy can keep itself afloat until then.

And with that I pause here….I envision three posts this weekend.

One post on my Electric car travails (Aptera to LEAF to Fiat 500EV…oh how this has been a fun and painful odyssey…I would say damn you Aptera, but in reality I learned so much about electric vehicles from my time over at ApteraForum.com).

One post on the latest news from Brammo Powercycles. If I had endless money I would buy everybody I know one of their electric motorcycles…Beautiful and efficient…My latest techno crush.

And one post devoted to my lovely solar panels. Facts, figures…you know, all that exciting stuff. Like showing vacation slides to strangers. Who doesn’t love that?

Mmmm, if I’m smart I will make a post about my wife and kids too… 🙂

Gavin