Husqvarna’s parent brand, KTM, is no stranger to electric motorcycles, with the Freeride E long offering a enduro/trails crossover battery powered version of the Freeride. Recently Husqvarna also introduced the E-Pilen concept to take battery power to the urban road enviroment.
Where the sporty Freeride E offers an 18 kW output, the new E-Pilen will produce significantly less at 8 kW. A 100 km range should prove sufficient for urban and suburban short-hop commutes.
Seemingly a battery powered alternative to the Husqvarna 125 models announced for 2021, the E-Pilen will offer less power. A modular and swappable battery system may offer increased flexibility and possibly even range if infrastructure for swapping, rather than waiting for a charge, becomes available. One would imagine that a system such as that mooted for Europe may not prove quite as economically viable in our broader Australian landscape.
Husqvarna have also signalled their intention to increase their dealer presence in urban and metro areas – most likely in Europe – to further push their E-mobility range, where they are most likely to be well received, thanks to shorter trips and greater charging infrastructure being the norm.
Information at the moment on the new model is very light, with more details said to be on the way in the near future, however it seems a smart strategy alongside the e-balance bikes to get new riders onto electric machines. Possibly in the hopes of preventing the comparison to traditional alternatives for a new generation of riders, while also capturing the interest of first adopters.
The looks of the E-Pilen certainly align well with the Svartpilen and Vitpilen models and despite the fairly low claimed output figure in comparison to what we’ve come to expect in motorcycles – even small capacity machines – has a real sporty edge.
The E-Pilen could well also be a viable option for those seeking something more than an e-bicycle, without making the jump to traditional motorcycle or scooter, and the 100 km range would cover many rider’s regular commute. We’ll have to wait and see what speeds the bike is capable of without greatly effecting that range.
It will also be interesting to see if more powerful alternatives are offered in the future, aligning with the availability of 125, 250, 401 and 701 Vitpilen and Svartpilen models.
Price is also likely to be a hot topic with this model, with the Svartpilen and Vitpilen models having seen a fairly drastic price drop from their original figures, which has since put them in a fairly competitive position in the Aussie market.
Whether the E-Pilen is an affordable alternative to a small capacity machine or ends up in a similar position to Harley’s Livewire – as a premium, fairly exclusive option – remains to be seen. Affordability is a huge factor in this segment of the small motorcycle/scooter market.
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