Germany's iconic Swallow scooter has traded in its smoky old two-stroke for a sleek new electric motor.
The Swallow scooter – Schwalbe in Germany – was a fixture on European roads for decades where it was as familiar as the Kreidler, Lambretta, or Vespa. The two-stroke Swallow was built by the Stimson steel company, which goes back to to 1856 as a gun manufacturer, and went into bicycle production in 1896. Following World War II, the company was reformed in East Germany and began building mopeds and scooters, the last of which was produced in 1986.
Now, the Swallow returns as an electric scooter under the auspices of the Berlin-based electric scooter maker Govecs. The company has partnered with Bosch for the powertrain technology, and recently acquired the licensing rights to the Scwalbe brand. Powered by a Bosch 4kW drivetrain, the scooter has a reported top speed of 28 mph and range of 40 miles, meaning it’s designed for strictly urban transportation.
The report says a full charge will take 4.5 hours, and a 50 percent charge is possible in an hour. Doubling up on the battery pack extends the range to 60 miles which, given a short commute or light daily use, could limit recharging to once a week. The new Swallow is similar and style and profile to the original, but now features an LCD display, good brakes, and a 1200W charger and cable onboard. The 15-foot cable stows neatly under the seat, and the batteries can be recharged from a standard household outlet.
Govecs touts the Swallow as a scooter that’s "extremely dynamic, agile and has good acceleration.” The rider can choose from three power modes – Go, Cruise, and Boost – to meet the riding situation. "Optimal power transmission is achieved by a unique dual step belt drive system, which allows for high torque," said Govecs CEO, Thomas Grübel, and brings “the L1e class to a whole new level in terms of vehicle dynamics and acceleration."
The first Schwalbe store is set to open in Berlin, and will reportedly be followed by more dealerships in major European cities. The company says that the service agreement includes a technician who comes to your home or business. There was no indication of if or when the scooter will be available in the U.S.
The Schwalbe E-Scooter's base price is $6,263, with options of five body colors and three different seat colors. The two-battery configuration must be specified when ordering, since they can't be added afterward. More information is available at myschwalbe.com