In September, 2020, we first told you that a Husqvarna electric scooter and e-Pilen are coming. At the time, parent company Pierer Mobility AG (PMAG) quarterly financial reports revealed that the e-scooter would roll out in 2021, while the e-Pilen motorcycle would likely come in 2022.
Not a lot of information was available back then, but as usual, it’s trickling out bit by bit. In a new interview with Indian automotive magazine Motoring World, CEO Stefan Pierer had quite a bit to say about the future—including these two key electric pieces of the puzzle.
For a start, he noted, bikes 900cc and under have made a significant sales comeback since the COVID-19 crisis took hold around the globe. In Germany alone, he noted, in September alone, they sold 1,000 bikes in the 125cc range. He also noted that many new KTM customers seemed to be buying these small-displacement bikes as their first powered two-wheeler vehicles. While that’s great for Pierer, it’s also undeniably good news for the industry as a whole.
The global pandemic has made people who can afford to avoid taking public transportation eager for other forms of transport. Bike sales have naturally picked up, because most are much less expensive and easier to live with everyday than cars are. Pierer said, “it’s bouncing back, and I must be honest and say that Covid is the key to this. It’s been a help, not a hindrance.”
What about Pierer’s upcoming electric developments? Since the race is on for all OEMs in India to get electric vehicles on the road, Pierer said it had collaborated with Bajaj to jointly develop both a 4kW and an 8/10kW electric motor. The coming Husqvarna e-Scooter is based on the Bajaj Chetak, and even relies on the same chassis, he said.
Regarding the e-Pilen, Pierer said that PMAG is also working on electric equivalents to 50 to 125cc motorbikes. Since customers who want such bikes are looking for a bigger range, Pierer said, it’s necessary to hit a sweet spot between giving them what they want, and maintaining profitability. Too big and heavy a battery pack would be prohibitively expensive to produce, and customers also wouldn’t want to buy it. Pierer said that a 48V 15kW powerpack seemed ideal.
Since KTM already uses the name “PowerPack” to refer to the removable, swappable battery used in the Freeride E-XC, could this mean the e-Pilen will operate similarly? It certainly seems like a possibility. These models are currently planned to be built in and for the Indian market, and it’s not clear where or if they might find their way into other global markets as well. However, there are an awful lot of commuters, and they’re going to need an awful lot of electric two-wheelers in the future, so we’ll just have to see.
Pierer also talked about many more aspects of KTM and Husqvarna’s future, and you can check out the full interview here.