Remember in September 2020 it became known that Husqvarna plans to go electric? The parent company, Pierer Mobility AG, reported in its financial statements for an electric scooter in 2021, while the e-Pilen electric motorcycle was expected in 2022.
At the first stage, there was very little information, but as usual, drop by drop, new details are leaking into the network. In a recent interview with an Indian auto magazine, CEO Stefan Pire spoke in a few words about plans for the future, including two important electrical pieces of that future.
To begin with, he noted that motorcycles with a working volume of 900 cc and below have significantly won back their positions in sales after the failure at the beginning of the covid crisis. Only in Germany and in September alone, 1000 copies of the 125cc class were sold. He also noted that many new KTM consumers were buying these small cubicles as their first two-wheelers, and besides being good for the Pierer Mobility, this is great news for the motorcycle industry as a whole.
The pandemic has highlighted for many people the need for individual transport in order to avoid multiple contacts with other people. This naturally led to an increase in motorcycle sales, as many of them are cheaper and more comfortable in everyday life than cars. Pire declared
Sales have taken an obvious leap, and to be honest, COVID was the reason. He turned out to be a helper for us, not a hindrance.
What about the electrical developments of the Pierer Group? All major Indian manufacturers have already entered the race and Piret said they are working with Bajaj to develop a 4 kW and 8/10 kW motor. However, the Husqvarna e-Scooter will be based on the existing Bajaj Chetak model, including the same chassis.
As for e-Pilen, Piret said the company is working on electric equivalents of 50 and 125 cc gasoline motorcycles. But because buyers of these bikes need a lot of range, the company is forced to find a middle ground between meeting consumer needs and maintaining profitability. A large and heavy battery will be extremely expensive, which will inevitably reduce the attractiveness of such models in the eyes of the consumer. According to Piret, a 48-volt 15kWh battery seems ideal to them.
Moreover, Pire, speaking of the battery, always used the term powerpack. This may not mean anything, but the fact is that KTM is already referring to the PowerPack for its removable battery pack that comes with the Freeride E.
Does this mean that e-Pilen will be compatible with this format? Quite possibly. These models will be made in India and for India, and it is not yet clear if they will enter other markets, but one way or another, the world is going electric, and the only question is whether Pierer is ready for this, because the demand is undoubtedly there.