American start-up Fuell is back with its latest, urban electric motorcycle – the ‘Fllow’ – and has already opened pre-orders via a PreLaunch crowdfunding campaign.
Fuell – and no, that’s not a typo – first appeared on the mainstream scene with its “urban e-commuter” in 2019. The idea was that the ‘Fllow’ – nope, not a typo either, although it is needlessly confusing – would offer innovative, electric ‘macro-mobility’ for short journeys around urban environments, and thus provide a sustainable alternative to cars and public transport. At the helm was Erik Buell, founder and CEO of the Buell Motorcycle Company that merged with Harley Davidson from 1993 to 2009 before Buell’s eventual bankruptcy in 2015. Sadly, the 2020 pandemic meant Fuell’s momentum disappeared almost immediately as its supply chain withered.
Normal service was resumed last year however when the company’s new project – Flluid-1S e-bike – went on sale, and now, with the help of a crowdfunding campaign, Fuell is hoping to continue development of the full-sized Fllow concept it unveiled three years ago. It is hoped progress made to EV and battery technology in that time will make the urban e-motorbike a more compelling urban run-around to customers worldwide.
Though still a “functional concept,” and thus without “all the features and performance of the final version,” the top-spec Fllow-1S nevertheless packs a rear-driving electric motor producing 47 hp (there’s also a 15 hp Fllow-1 version available for those with restricted licenses). Torque, meanwhile, is a formidable 553 lb-ft, meaning the 180 kg Fllow-1S will hit 0-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 140 km/h.
Alongside electric grunt, the Fllow features a compact 10 kWh lithium-ion battery, a 400-volt architecture, and a 50 kW CCS fast charger, meaning topping up from 20 to 80 per cent takes just 15 minutes, and recharging from empty to full takes less than 30 (admittedly this shoots up to between 1.5 and 2.5 hours using 3.3 kW or 6.6 kW chargers at home, or 10 hours via a three-pin outlet). The urban range for the ‘macro-mobility’ Fllow has also been estimated at 240 km.
Among the biggest selling points of the Fllow though is its revised architecture compared with a standard ICE motorbike. The e-motor, for instance, is integrated within the rear wheel itself, removing the need for a chain or a belt, while the battery pack is mounted low down as part of the front chassis to keep the centre of gravity low and body rigidity high. Losing the fuel tank – which has now been subtly reshaped to make room for a rider and a passenger – means there’s also up to 1.5 gallons of space for a full-face helmet or a small bag. Or, as Fuell puts it, “the practicality of a large scooter.”
Over-the-air updates means that the LCD display screen, the GPS and rider assist safety systems can be regularly updated. Interestingly, with Fuell having designed the Fllow modularly, the company claims that components like the battery, rear wheel motor and charging socket can also be swapped out for upgraded examples “as new technology becomes available.”
Via PreLaunch, interested customers can put a US$200 deposit down for the US$11,995 Fllow, and, in doing so, could receive up to a US$2,000 discount on the stated MSRP. The goal is to reach 3,000 pre-orders via crowd funding, with Fuell anticipating the first deliveries to arrive in early 2024. Set to be produced in the US, the company also states that, with 60 per cent fewer parts than an ICE alternative, assembly times will only take 40 per cent as long.