For people who don’t ride motorcycles, the name Husqvarna is probably more familiar as a maker of chainsaws and other yard gear that your neighbor wakes you up with at 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning. But for motorcycle riders, Husqvarna, better known just as “Husky” stateside, means lightweight, capable dirtbikes and more recently, some creatively styled street machines with names that end in “-pilen.” Why? Because in Swedish, “pilen” means “arrow” and that’s fitting for their unusual line of speedy thumpers that range from 250cc to 701cc. And as a side note, Husqvarna is now an Austrian company that hopscotched around Europe after it was sold to an Italian concern way back in 1987. Branding!
Anyway, Husky… er, Husqvarna, is now showing off an electric arrow, the E-Pilen, signaling a likely entry into the increasingly crowded electric motorcycle market. Perhaps wisely, the E-Pilen initial specs point to an urban-focused machine with a touch more than 10 electric horsepower and about 60 miles of range from a trio of hot-swappable battery packs. Torque hasn’t been specified but count on a fair dollop since that’s where electric motors shine performance-wise. It’s definitely not a bike gunning for Zero’s speed crown, but that’s OK.
While picky dirt riders have gravitated to the more spendy Husky gas burners over the years, the E-Pilen would likely come in at a pretty agreeable price point compared to offerings from Zero and others. Clearly, Husky’s focus is on urban riders with the E-Pilen, and it’s in the urban traffic sphere that electric motorcycles work best. Range is less of an issue in town and the instant zip from those torquey, compact electric motors can make short work of traffic. Here’s a quick teaser video from Husqvarna:
Husqvarna actually already sells an electric motorcycle, but it’s the kid-sized EE 5 dirt demon. The company also offers battery-powered electric mowers (yes, please) so it’s not like this is new territory for them. Scaling things up for adult use and size while retaining some sort of stylistic flair can be a challenge, but if the Svartpilen and Vitpilen pique your interest, the E-Pilen looks to hew closely to that form factor. Stay tuned.
The low-power approach is a smart move for Husky. Full-on, full size electric motorcycles are a tricky proposition and still suffer from short riding ranges and long charging times. Shifting focus to an urban arrow for popping to the store, work or a night out makes sense at this time, especially when the smaller battery packs can fully recharge overnight off a wall outlet and be ready for action come work or another fun trip across town.
Husqvarna gave no indications of pricing, availability or a production timeline, but if they went to this much trouble, we’d bet some sort of electric arrow will drop into the mix soon enough.