Volcon Grunt electric motorcycle unveiled
Volcon is the latest startup hoping to bite off a piece of the growing electric motorcycle pie. The company’s new Volcon Grunt is poised to fill a gap in the market with an interesting mix of specs and pricing.
The Volcon Grunt is a fat tire electric motorcycle of sorts that doesn’t just talk the talk.
The bike also walks the walk, if its spec sheet is to be believed.
The Volcon Grunt’s 37 kW (50 hp) motor offers 102 Nm (75 lb-ft) of torque and propels the bike to a claimed 60 mph (96 km/h) top speed in 6 seconds.
It also comes with a maximum range of 100 miles (160 km), though there is no word on what speed that range is clocked at. Some electric bike manufacturers get away with impressive range ratings by measuring ranges at very low speeds, which require less battery power and thus are more efficient. And with giant tires like those, the Grunt could surely use all the efficiency favors it can get.
Either way, Volcon claims the batteries will be swappable, so even if the range isn’t quite as good, a spare battery could easily double it.
And the icing on the cake appears to be the Volcon Grunt’s pricing, with the Volcon Grunt listed at just $5,995 for a spring 2021 debut. That’s nearly half the price of the lowest priced Zero electric motorcycle.
Then compare it to other industry-leading electric motorcycles, such as the Zero SR/F and Zero SR/S priced at $20k, the Harley-Davidson LiveWire priced at $30k, and Energica’s line of electric sportbikes priced in the $20k-25k range.
What’s the major difference?
For starters, the Volcon Grunt doesn’t actually exist yet.
Secondly, the company makes no mention of any street-legal status of the bike. And the lack of turn signals or a license plate hanger don’t help matters.
It could be that Volcon plans to launch the Grunt as an off-road electric motorcycle only, at least initially. That would be a common play in the electric motorcycle industry. Zero Motorcycles got its start over a decade ago building purely electric dirt bikes, which are much easier to bring to market due to lower regulation. Swedish electric motorcycle CAKE and Kiwi electric motorcycle company UBCO both also got their starts in the dirt before offering street-legal versions of their bikes years later.
If Volcon can turn the Grunt into a street-legal bike that serves dual roles for on- and off-road riders, they could potentially greatly expand their market. Being able to ride to your local trails or sandbox would be much more convenient than trucking your bike there.
The company appears to be working on more than just an electric motorcycle also, with interesting images (albeit only renderings) of a UTV as well.
For now we don’t have too many more details about the bike from Volcon, other than a promise that we’ll see the Grunt next spring.
And they claim to be well on their way to US-based manufacturing as well, as the company explained:
All Volcon vehicles will be manufactured in the USA. Product development is currently under way at a temporary production facility in Round Rock, Texas. Volcon is sourcing a permanent home in the greater Austin area, joining many major electric vehicle manufacturers, such as Tesla, Ayro, and Hyliion in what is becoming the electric vehicle capital of the world. The complex will contain the company headquarters, research and development facilities, manufacturing lines, testing grounds, and a customer experience center.
Will a US-based electric vehicle startup be able to enter the market with US-manufactured electric motorcycles offering surprisingly good specs for a surprisingly fair price?
Your guess is as good as mine, but I’m wishing them all the luck and praying they survive long enough for this bike to see the road (or even the dirt next spring!).