Debuting the KTM E-Speed at the Tokyo Motor Show, the Austrian company seemed to find a renewed interest in electric two-wheelers, which was interesting development since recently KTM CEO Stefan Pierer had dismissed the viability of electric motorcycles, and told Italian journalists that the KTM was scrapping its plans to build an electric dirt bike, the KTM Freeride E.

Taking an about-face from that statement, zie Austrians have green-lit the electric scooter for production, and say that both the KTM E-Speed and KTM Freeride E will be available in European KTM dealerships within the next two years: the Freeride E by 2014 and the E-Speed by 2015.

“We believe in the electro-mobility on two wheels. Because offroad sport is our core area, we have developed an E-Crosser, the FREERIDE E, but we are also convinced that urban mobility can succeed in urban areas,” said Harald Plöckinger, KTM Executive Board Member for Production and Business Development.

“Because of the very positive feedback following the Tokyo presentation, we have decided to transfer the results from the development of the E-Cross bike also into the road segment. The E-SPEED is our interpretation of emission-free propulsion for city use, but without compromising on the design and sportiness of our KTM genes!” he continued.

With the E-Speed built off what KTM had learned from the Freeride E, the electric scooter shares the same major electric drivetrain components as the electric dirt bike. There is no word on price yet for the KTM E-Speed electric scooter, but today’s news bodes well for the future of electric vehicles.

KTM E-Speed Design Concept:

KTM Freeride E:

Source: KTM; Photos: © 2012  Schedl, R. / KTM – All Rights Reserved

  • protomech

    My comment on the article covering the interview (but after the E-SPEED concept was unveiled):
    “I’m not convinced KTM is so negative about EV bikes. The Google Translated version of the interview does match the quote posted in the story, but it’s possible that Pierer meant that he does not think the initial market will be huge, rather than that KTM is pulling out.”

    Seems to be accurate. Either the initial interview was misinterpreted – easy to do given the language barrier and machine translation – or Pierer has changed his mind.

    KTM may be the first of the traditional manufacturers to offer a production elmoto for purchase. Honda’s EV Neo I believe was only available to lease, and at any rate it’s closer to an electric bicycle than an electric peer to contemporary gas vehicles.

    Brammo, Zero, BRD, Lightning, et al have been operating in a small window of uncontested space. That window is now closing .. and while the traditional manufacturers will play catch up at first, they have established distribution and service networks that the new companies can’t touch.

    Interesting times.

  • Gutterslob

    Charge times?
    Average speed around the Isle of Man?

  • paulus – Thailand

    … maybe the CEO (with a vested interest in Husqvarna) feels differently to the rest of the KTM management.
    Interesting that the release statement is from a different board member and not Pierer himself.

    I look forward to the E-scooter… subject to price.