Not soon after KTM CEO Stefan Pierer dismissed the viability of electric motorcycles, and told Italian journalists that the Austrian company was scrapping its plans to build an electric dirt bike, the KTM Freeride E, KTM has announced the KTM E-Speed electric scooter study, with Pierer even making the bold statement that “we at KTM are completely convinced of electric mobility as a perfect complement to conventional powertrains.”
Debuting the machine at the Tokyo Motor Show, KTM has appropriately recycled the same battery and motor technologies from the Freeride E concept, and put them in the unimaginatively named E-Speed scooter. Using a liquid cooled 14.75 hp / 26.5 lbs•ft motor, KTM has opted for a larger 4.36 kWh battery pack for its metro-targeting scoot.
Speaking about the KTM E-Speed, Pierer said “in the long term, the electric drive will come out on top for short distances – particularly in areas which are highly sensitive from an environmental perspective, like open nature and densely populated metropolitan areas! Vehicles like the ‘E-Speed’ and Freeride E can help powered two-wheelers win back more acceptance in society. Not just because of their environmental credits, but because they are easy to use, quick, and simply great fun.”
Featuring a 53 mph top speed and a 37 mile range, the E-Speed charges in a two-hour timeframe. Equipped with WP suspension, ABS, and single-sided front and rear wheel linkages, we think the KTM E-Speed is the kind of scooter you won’t mind your friends seeing you ride — thanks largely to the work done by the Kiska design team.
It is not clear at this time what this development means for the future of KTM’s Freeride E dirt bike, and the Austrian company is tight-lipped regarding the likelihood of the KTM E-Speed actually seeing production, but at its current state of technology, KTM’s electric vehicle designs are better suited for the scooter market. Time will tell on this one.
Source: KTM; Photos: © 2012 Schedl, R. / KTM – All Rights Reserved