Would you like an electric bike to go with your new DVR?
Best Buy has started selling electric vehicles, including the Enertia electric motorcycle from Brammo, according to reports.
The company in May started offering electric bicycles, scooters, and Segway transporters at 21 of its West Coast stores, according to the Los Angeles Times. This month, the home products retailer will add the Enertia motorcycle to create an electric vehicle line with a range of speeds and range.
Although it may sound like a stretch to offer refrigerators and electric vehicles under the same roof, company representatives said that there is growing interest in electric transportation among its customers.
"Our business is already connecting in people's homes and lives with technology, appliances and computers," a Best Buy representative told the LA Times. "One of the things that's important for the future growth of [our company] is staying ahead of where technology is in people's lives."
From a product point of view, electric vehicles have a strong kinship to consumer electronics, according to Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher, who approached Best Buy about distributing the Enertia.
"What we're selling is a lot closer to consumer electronics than to transportation," Bramscher said at the Pacific Crest Clean Technology Conference in March. He said that the Enertia includes a built-in Web server, to run open-platform software applications with the potential for add-ons like onboard cameras that could download images to travel blogs.
The Enertia charges in about three hours from a regular wall outlet and can go up to about 50 miles per hour. It gets the equivalent of 373 miles per gallon and costs less than one cent per mile to run, according to Brammo.
With a retail cost of $11,995, the Enertia isn't likely to sell in high volumes like popular consumer electronics. But Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn said the move is part of the company's efforts to diversify its product mix to stay on top of new technologies.
"I'm not sure how it's going to do either," Dunn told The Wall Street Journal. "But I like the muscles we're exercising."
The Journal also reported that Best Buy is exploring selling home energy management systems that program air conditioning, lights, and appliances to cut energy use.