Make no mistake, electric scooters are coming. It may not be this year or the next, but the combination of gas-free living, urban agility, and the instant-on acceleration that is unique to EVs will continue to win over young urbanites … if only someone would come out with an electric scooter that was, you know, attractive!
The e-Schwalbe is styled after the classic Simson Schwalbe scooter of the 1950s and 60s, and the result accomplishes the sort of delicate balance between modern and retro that seems to resonate positively across generations (like the current Chevy Camaro, and un-like the almost impossibly stupid Chevy SSR).
Production of the e-Schwalbe will begin in Germany during the early part of 2012, with an expected “market launch” next spring – in other words: just in time for the 2012 riding season, which is expected to build on 2011’s great scooter sales and the increasing popularity of small-displacement bikes.
Once they’re ready for sale, the E-Schwalbe scooters will be available in 2 flavors, delivering “eco” and “boost” riding experiences characterized primarily by a top speed of 45 km/h (about 30 mph) or 81 km/h (about 50 mph), respectively, over a range of up to 110 miles – making the bike equivalent (in both speed and “single-tank range”) to either a 50 cc or 125 cc scooter.
Prices start at a not-outrageous (compared to Vespa) 4699 Euro for the eco “45” version, and 5799 Euro for the boost “81”. Still pricey, to be sure, but significantly cheaper than a hardly more practical than something like a Smart ForTwo Electric Drive.
The company is expected to bring a demonstrator to the US for the powersports DealerExpo in February – and we’ll be there to check it out. Until then, enjoy the gallery, below (and if you can find an English version, please link to it in the comments).
Sources | Photos: MDR.