Erik Buell is back again with a new electric motorcycle

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reikiman
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Erik Buell is back again with a new electric motorcycle

The following information was sent to me by a public relations hack promoting a new electric motorcycle.

They're trying to make it into a big deal, but the specs on the bike are underwhelming. With a sub-50hp motor, a "highway-capable top speed" means it'll barely reach 60-65 miles/hr. The 10 kWh battery pack is reasonably sized but will likely offer 60 miles of range, but they claim 150 miles range. How? It includes CCS Type 2 fast charging, which is not suitable for North America, so the distribution .. they don't say where it will be sold.

Press kit is available here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1SOXR0wF1RcF0p81RuDh6AmVJdTgr4JAw?msID=26079b9a-8cd8-4872-bcd8-8f3a7b195e90

The bike is called - FUELL Fllow e-commuter -- by the name they're positioning it for riders going between home and work with occasional side trips.


Fllow is a modern “e-commuter” with a 10Kwh battery, an innovative wheel motor with a power of 47hp (optional 15hp), a highway-capable top speed, a high-voltage architecture, and a fast charging time. All this is packed in a machine weighing less than 400 lbs.

You might remember FUELL Fllow from the reveal of the brand back in 2019. As a result of the global pandemic, FUELL had to slow down this project as supply chains were heavily disrupted, and specific development with suppliers had to be postponed.

Fast forward to today, and there is much good news for Fllow. The supply chain is returning to normal, and suppliers are ready to re-engage with FUELL to continue the development of specific technologies and parts.

And, here's the press release

Fllow is an unbeatable proposal: an $11,995 e-commuter with a 10Kwh battery, an innovative wheel motor with a power of 47hp (optional 15hp), a highway-capable top speed, and a high voltage architecture with a less than 30 min charging time. All this in a modern, sleek design with more storage space than most scooters.

The “Fllow urban e-commuter” project was revealed to the world in April 2019, as we launched our brand “FUELL” and our other product, the Flluid e-bike.

The reveal generated over 500 press articles and loads of interest, including several hundred pre-orders in a matter of weeks.

We then embarked into the design, engineering, and building of a real-size Fllow. We finalized the key engineering concepts, started engaging with suppliers to develop specific solutions, and built a functional 1:1 real-size Fllow concept – the one you see in photos and videos that we had fun riding and showing to investors, suppliers, and more.

Then came the pandemic… it disrupted first the supply chain and some of our suppliers. Some specific developments were postponed, with the risk of being canceled. Investors got cold feet. Investment promises were put on hold, and some investors rescinded their commitments.

Fast forward to today, and there is much good news for Fllow. The supply chain is getting back to normal, and suppliers are ready to re-engage with FUELL to continue the development of specific technologies and parts. Technology has made progress too, as the EV market has been growing fast and started to enter the mass-production level – allowing for batteries and other parts to reduce cost and become more affordable.

The market is also booming – after the craze for e-bicycles, now are coming several e-powered alternatives to the gas-powered 2 and 3- wheelers, but also cars, that are needed to navigate our cities and their suburbs. These new EVs need to be able to do greater distances than an e-bike and be highway-capable. Public awareness and acceptance of these new e-commuters are on the rise!

We feel this is now the right time to bring Fllow to the world.

Through this prelaunch campaign, we want to gather as many pre-orders as possible – our goal is to reach over 3,000 pre-orders – allowing us to transition to a crowdfunding campaign and self-finance Fllow.

Our goal is to bring Fllow faster to market, with financial help from our customers but also thanks to their feedback and expectations.

Fllow is the brainchild of Erik Buell, our legendary CTO, and of our engineering team, but does the world need Fllow?

Well, behind this provocative question was first a lot of research and studies about the evolution of mobility, how cities will evolve in the future (becoming “smart cities”) and if 2-wheelers still had a place in the fast-paced changing environment.

Here is how Erik Buell summarized it:

When I look to the future, there is one compelling solution for urban/suburban transportation. Well, two actually, two wheels... two wheels in a single track with green power. Whether it’s a human-pedaled bicycle, a pedal-assisted electric bicycle, or an electric motor, two wheels are the clear solutions for urban mobility.

Mass transport works to some extent, but it’s just not a pleasant experience, and it only gets you vaguely near the place you want to be. It’s also a very expensive endeavor that burdens city budgets. Sometimes these huge expensive vehicles are full and sometimes nearly empty. In either case, they keep running from point A to B at Y o’clock even though you need to get from C to D at Z o’clock.

In Europe where streets are smaller, the support and infrastructure for two-wheelers are exploding. In the US it is starting as well. In Asia, two-wheelers have always been the solution, and now the growth is in making them greener, less polluting, and less noisy. Replacing the 60 million new gasoline-powered two-wheelers sold annually with electricity creates a huge impact on quality of life.

Worldwide, the movement to change our habits is accelerating. Urban transportation should be a comfortable personal tool empowering us to better live our multitasking lives.

A well-designed two-wheeler becomes one with the rider, with speed and range far beyond the rider’s ability. Those great two-wheelers make you feel like you have superpowers!

We have to blend this feeling with the needs of today and tomorrow. So quite frankly, innovation is critical - you cannot build a new future hanging onto the old ways. New urban electric vehicles must not only feel approachable but also integrate with the digital environment and technology that is part of our society.

The world needs Fllow!
There is no argument that currently, with battery technology as it stands, gas-powered motorcycles designed and used in traditional ways seem to be a more rational choice. Yet when you take into account the growing restrictions in city centers, and you focus on the duty cycles on urban/suburban use, the relevance of new types of urban scooters and urban motorcycles makes a lot more sense. Even more so when you integrate high voltage systems into your design, to make them compatible with automotive fast charging stations already installed in those areas.

We started developing the Fllow e-moto range with looks that speak 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.

I will myself be striving to develop those close and personal rides into the future, so every FUELL product not only feels familiar, like part of you but also pushes out of the past and flies you to the future!

Who is Erik Buell and why does it matter?

Fllow is the brainchild of Erik Buell, our legendary CTO, and of our engineering team – all senior engineers with years with Erik at Buell and EBR before joining him in the FUELL endeavor.

Erik Buell is the Founder, former Chairman, and CTO of the Buell Motorcycle Company, which eventually merged with Harley-Davidson from 1993 to 2009.

Erik is a pioneer of modern race motorcycle technology, as well as a world-class engineer and inventor. He created some of the most innovative and usable motorcycles to date, using inventions like a hollow aluminum frame to house the fuel and create chassis rigidity. More than 130,000 motorcycles with the Buell name have been produced to date.

Erik has an incredible experience in motorcycle development, industrialization, sourcing, manufacturing, and homologation, and brings unparalleled expertise in chassis, powertrain, and overall two-wheeler engineering.

For a project as complex and ambitious as Fllow, his leadership is a great reassurance for all – for future customers of course, but also for designers, engineers, suppliers, distributors, importers, and investors. Fuell and Buell, do you get it now?

What FUELL is trying to achieve with Fllow

FUELL’s vision is to put freedom, technology, and emotion back into urban travel by offering riders something different, innovative, upgradeable, and attractive.

Fllow is the result of a convergence of ideas on how to create urban mobility solutions utilizing the best application for electric powertrains (low speeds, rapid acceleration, zero-emission, zero noise, short distances, denser charging infrastructures) and integrating technology for safety and connectivity.

Going into more detail, we established this functional brief and set these targets for Fllow:

Usage/Users
Urban/suburban vehicle, re-inventing the pleasure of riding a meaningful machine in an urban environment with pollution constraints/legislation.

Main designations
Comfortable, easy to ride, powerful acceleration, significant in presence, enhancing to the rider, distinctive. Unique and substantial storage capability and practicality in urban environments.

Design
Minimalistic, utilitarian, integrated, strikingly different, and beautiful
A contemporary take on an urban e-commuter with electric powertrain constraints

Price, Range, Performance
Target price of $11,995, with at least 150 miles / 240 km range in real city traffic condition
With a quick charge as fast as a “traditional stop for gasoline”
Highway capable speed

The Fllow that is presented to you today is the fruit of months of engineering, research, and design to meet these targets. And we’re meeting them!

Let us share with you some of the engineering innovations on Fllow
Fllow is about rethinking the traditional architecture of a gas-powered 2-wheeler, taking into consideration the amazing new opportunities (and challenges!) that an electric powertrain is presenting.

Among the technical innovations we’re introducing on Fllow:

ELECTRICAL INNOVATION
Axially Integrated Transverse Flux motor uniquely integrated into the rear wheel – very high torque from 0 rpm up, and lightweight (patent pending)
Battery pack integrated into chassis – structurally forms the major part of chassis (patent pending)
Ability to update battery packs for new technologies and upgrades

CHASSIS INNOVATION
Optimized Powertrain Integration – components located to optimize chassis handling and optimize power flow (patent pending)
High-strength lightweight alloy castings (including magnesium)
Advanced Braking System (patent pending) allowing to drop the rear brake pedal
Integrated chassis and powertrain management with traction/wheelie control


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