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The Brammo Enertia bike, sponsored by Best Buy | Photograph by Finlay Mackay

Why Best Buy Is Roaring Into the Electric-Bike Market

Kal Patel
Executive Vice President of Emerging Business
Rick Rommel
Senior Vice President of Emerging Business
Best Buy
Richfield, Minnesota

Best Buy's Kal Patel, 45, and Rick Rommel, 49, are expanding the idea of consumer electronics by exploring home energy and green personal transportation. First up is the $12,000 Brammo Enertia electric bike, which the company will debut nationally by year's end. Best Buy also sponsored Brammo's team in the TTXGP electric-bike race on the Isle of Man.

Patel: "We are looking at industries in turmoil. They hold a lot more opportunity, and you can't turn on the 6 o'clock news without hearing about gas prices, energy, or health."
Rommel: "We're aggressively experimenting with a broad array of personal-transportation ideas -- and in other markets that are going through substantive change. You look at energy and, boy, it's not hard to map out how the consumer is going to experience changes in home-power management and home automation. Technology is at the heart of it all."
Patel: "When we enter a new space that the public doesn't quite expect us to be in yet, like electric bikes, we take a venture-capital mind-set. We invested millions in Brammo after our first meeting, in order to be taken seriously."
Rommel: "Years ago, Best Buy didn't sell cell phones or even computers. Best Buy brings consumers the technology in their lives. The Brammo bike is really a computer and a battery on wheels."

The Brammo Enertia bike, sponsored by Best Buy | Photograph by Finlay Mackay

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2 Comments

  • Keith Burtis

    Cool stuff eh? I guess the question that I ask is "If Best Buy is going to increase the breadth and complexity their product lines are they going to provide knowledgeable staff to match?" While companies like Best buy and others are watching their profits decrease in ever growing price wars is this just a high margin product that they are hoping will help or will people just turn to cheaper online sources for the same thing after checking out the physical product in a store? Seems to be a real conundrum lately.