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Former Harley-Davidson engineer starts an all-electric motorcycle company

Former Harley-Davidson engineer starts an all-electric motorcycle company


With an e-bike coming later this year

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Image: Fuell

Former Harley-Davidson engineer Erik Buell announced this week that he’s founded an EV startup called Fuell that will make all-electric motorcycles and bicycles. He’s teamed up with Frédéric Vasseur, the owner of the company that makes the chassis for Formula E. Of the dozens of electric motorcycles announced every year, this one seems like it might actually have a shot.

Fuell’s first product will be an electric-assist bike called Fluid that costs about $3,300. It will have two swappable batteries that combine to give it a 125-mile range, and will come in two versions, one with a top speed of 20 miles per hour, and another that can hit 28 miles per hour. Fluid is supposed to go on sale soon — deliveries could happen by the end of this year, according to the company.

But I’m far more interested in Flow, the company’s electric motorcycle. It also comes in two versions — a tame two-wheeler with an 11kW motor, and a more powerful variant with a 35kW motor. The Flow motorcycle looks like a beefed-up version of Gogoro’s electric scooters, with black and gray panels accented by bright greenish-blue accents. It also ditches the typical chain or belt setup in favor of an in-wheel motor, which gives the motorcycle an even more futuristic look.

Fuell says the Flow motorcycle will hit the road in 2021 for around $11,000, though it shared other specs. That’s roughly in line with the pricing of, say, many of Zero Motorcycles’ bikes, and a third of what Harley-Davidson will charge for its own EV two-wheeler, though we’ll have to wait a few years to see how the Flow truly matches up.

The affordability of electric motors and battery technology means new electric motorcycle, moped, and bike companies pop up nearly every day. It’s to the point that it’s hard to get too enamored of any of them, because there’s simply no way they can all survive. Drawing up a slick-looking concept is one thing, but shipping a high-quality product (and servicing customers afterward) is really hard work.

Buell once built his own motorcycle company, which he then sold to Harley-Davidson. If anyone can get an electric motorcycle on the road, Fuell seems like it has a chance.