Erik Buell has a storied history in the motorcycle industry, with the latest chapter written at his electric bicycle and e-motorcycle startup FUELL. Now Erik is sharing his insight on the future of the electric two-wheeled industry and also showing us some brand new prototype designs that FUELL has been working on.
Just over a year ago FUELL went live with sales of its first long-range electric bicycle, a dual battery and belt-drive model known as the FUELL Flluid.
The company also has a $10,000 electric motorcycle in the works, the FUELL Fllow.
And until today, we had assumed that those two vehicles had been enough to keep Erik and the rest of the team at FUELL busy.
But that wasn’t the case. They’ve apparently been working on a number of new designs that they’ve just shared with us, focusing on higher-spec electric bicycles and mopeds, as well as light electric motorcycles.
The move towards more built-up two-wheelers makes sense for the motorcycle visionary Erik Buell, who has built his career on pushing the envelope of motorcycle design.
Erik explained his philosophy in continuing to innovate with electric bicycles while simultaneously developing larger and more powerful electric two-wheelers in a statement provided to Electrek:
“Well, certainly e-bicycles are important, they started the green revolution. E-bikes are light, fun to ride, and affordable, but they do not meet the needs of everyone in urban and suburban environments. There is more to urban mobility than e-bikes. Together with step-through mopeds and electric motorcycles, e-bikes can help transform how we experience urban environments.”
One of the first new prototypes that Erik unveiled is an update to the FUELL Flluid known as the Flluid_2.
It expands upon the traditional diamond-frame seen in the original Flluid and transforms it into something much more akin to an electric moped. We’ve seen designs somewhat similar before, such as NIU’s Aero EB-01 high-speed electric bicycles, but Erik’s offering adds the extra design elements that we’ve come to expect from FUELL.
As Erik explained:
“With this market now developing fast, e-bikes must start integrating more quality, more power, more range, and more utility. E-bikes need to develop formats to cater to the various needs of urban mobility. A critical step in e-bikes’ advancement is the connectivity and safety systems that are part of the smart city environment.
FUELL started with the leading edge of existing tech, and will go well beyond next – bringing both new formats and safety features supplying more information to provide riders unprecedented control over their environment. Be ready for FUELL Flluids featuring cameras and connectivity that extend the rider’s senses!”
Erik also shared details on a delta-trike format e-bike with us, adopting an upright style similar to the Taga Family E-Cargo Bike that we recently reviewed.
Of course like usual, Fuell puts a futuristic spin on the design to offer an electric trike unlike anything we’ve seen before.
FUELL’s upcoming electric mopeds and compact electric motorcycles
FUELL is also working on designs for a new electric moped (or “noped”, as it lacks pedals) that blurs the line with light electric motorcycles.
In addition to a new sweeping design, Erik explains that the goal is to infuse new tech features into the vehicle.
As Erik continued:
The next step from e-bicycles is the field of step-through mopeds/compact motorcycles. This electric challenge is critical, as this vehicle type is the leading urban mobility vehicle in many countries. The process and invention to switch existing units to clean, safe and recyclable vehicles is an enormous endeavor, but one that must be done to address air quality problems and environmental pollution. The first step of electrifying existing designs is happening, but it needs to reach a new level of design to truly change things.
FUELL is taking a totally new approach, which integrates a friendly and familiar shape with future styling and technology never seen in this class. Our idea is to combine a magnesium shell chassis with unique battery packaging and ultra-high torque hub motor, to create a light stable and nimble vehicle with a stunningly sporty ride for a fun everyday commute – at a cost comparable to gas equivalent and packed with tech features.
Fuell Fllow electric motorcycle
And of course, Fuell is still hard at work on the urban electric motorcycle it debuted last year.
The original specs for the bike included offering the Fllow in two variants with different sized motors: 11 kW (14.8 hp) or 35 kW (47 hp).
With those power options, the lighter-duty Fllow would be more competitive with scooters, while the more powerful version could likely hold its own against other more-established electric motorcycles.
We don’t know much about the battery capacity of the Fllow, but FUELL claims that charging should also take just 30 minutes on a 20 kW public charger, indicating a capacity of below 10 kWh.
As Erik explained:
We started developing the Fllow e-moto range with a looks that speaks of style and sport, but the real surprise is it includes the utility that urban and suburban commuters need. We broke away from the classic motorcycle architecture – with radical new ideas and materials – to give you the acceleration of a superbike with the nimbleness of a light middleweight motorcycle.
We are designing the Fllow with a high voltage system, that allows charging in competitive times with filling a gas tank. We are doing it with a smart design that has more onboard storage than most scooters. And of course we are integrating all the connectivity and safety technology required for an augmented ride, as for all other product classes.
What do you think of FUELL’s upcoming electric two-wheeler designs? Could you see yourself using one of these for urban commuting? Let us know in the comments section below!
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