Industry

Is KTM readying an electric scooter for European market?

The KTM E-Speed electric scooter could become a reality as the Austrian firm considers selling its version of the new Bajaj Chetak e-scooter

KTM’s much talked about foray into the electric motorcycle market could begin with a revival of its plans to introduce an e-scooter as early as 2021.

The Austrian firm is currently setting out its plans to integrate a range of electric motorcycles into its line-up over the next few years and has already announced plans to introduce a series of zero-tailpipe models in collaboration with its Indian stakeholders Bajaj Auto.

The first of these models is slated to be an e-scooter based on the recently launched India-only Bajaj Chetak scooter, which offers 100km of range and is priced at an equivalent of £1500.

Using this platform, KTM and Husqvarna would develop their own e-scooters based on the same platform and would be constructed in Pune, India. The Chetak is already set to be sold alongside KTM models in India through its Pro-Biking dealer network.

Though the Bajaj Chetak itself is fairly generic to suit its market needs, any KTM or Husqvarna variant would almost certainly be re-designed to their own specific house styles.

KTM E-Speed electric scooter to be revived?

The idea of a KTM scooter is nothing new.

The Austrian firm chose the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show to reveal an electric scooter concept named the KTM E-Speed and – as demonstrated by it going to the trouble of launching it in Honda and Yamaha’s backyard - it had every intention of putting it into production.

With its exposed trellis frame, dynamic stance and liberal use of signature orange and grey, the KTM E-Speed certainly looked every inch the seasoned KTM machine. In short, if KTM ‘had’ to have a scooter in its range, the E-Speed looked exactly like type of machine that would sit alongside its Dukes.

However, KTM didn’t ultimately agree and subsequently put the E-Speed’s production plans on hold in the short-term because it felt a scooter didn’t sit well in the brand’s performance orientated portfolio.

Roll forward to 2019 and though KTM has stated it still wants its forthcoming electric motorcycles to have good performance, a KTM e-scooter seems to fit into this line-up more seamlessly and takes its strong brand image to a younger customer base.

It’s would be coming into a competitive market though with an increasingly number of electric scooters from start-ups and diversifying companies – such as Spanish car manufacturer SEAT - available among more traditional well-established fuel-driven models.

This news also comes after KTM’s parent company purchased Spanish endure company GasGas, while it is has been on a model offensive in Asia with a series of new launches in India as a result of its closer relationship with Bajaj Auto, which owns almost 48% of KTM.

To date, KTM has released one zero tailpipe emissions model, the E-Ride endure bike based on the Freeride.

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