Every now and then certain car designs and concepts are introduced into the market, that are way ahead into the future, to be accepted or rejected by the consumers. These designs hold significant importance in taking our perception of normal towards a more accepting and non-conservative direction.
New car designs either get rejected by the consumers or they pivot our design perception. Car designers and design engineers get sharp feedbacks on which way they need to go design-wise. The engineering and body designers can combine, thereafter, in a manner, that they are allowed to introduce new features and technologies without disappointing the consumers.
Here are few car designs that “were” and few that “are” in that borderline category:
Ford Model -T (1908)
The first car design ever to make it to the “assembly line”, that was devised by Henry Ford, was the Model T. A car that actually became an everyday thing due to its production volume. A car that was the reason we can buy the car of our choice today.
Though the Model T is not the first car to be produced, it’s hailed as one. Cars before the Model T were considered luxurious, made to order, and cost around $2000. Since 1904 ford had made half a dozen cars but none of them sold as much as the Model T. The Earlier models were not as reliable, durable and easily maintainable as the Model T.
Over the years the Model T has got awards for being “the most influential car of 20th century” and “the car of the century”, and rightly so. This is the car that changed history and gave rise to the Brass age.
Oldsmobile Rocket 88 (1949)
Although the title is highly disputed, the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 is widely considered the first muscle car. With its buffed body and huge size, the car demanded a strong presence.
Produced in 1949, the American muscle car designs started taking shape. The designs cared less about the aerodynamics and more about raw power. The car designs put on these set of muscle engines is still considered a timeless classic.
Volkswagen Beetle (1938)
Officially known as the Volkswagen Type 1, the car is one of the iconic cars of the 20th century. It was built for the common people, with a 5 person capacity (later reduced to 4). Believe it or not, but the foundation of this car and its functional properties were laid down by the leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler.
Drawn by Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche in 1959 the 911 was among the top 5 “car of the century” cars. The engine was rear-mounted and the boot was made the front. The designs were made by Ferdinand Porsche, the founder of Porsche automobile.
AHH!! The car that is probably known by anyone who is even a bit interested in cars. The Porsche 911 is a car that is loved by everyone. The iconic design was not the first in its segment but the first to make it popular. The 911 has gone through many iterations through the decades, yet has not changed its distinctive shape.
The iconic shape of the car can be seen even in the newer models of Porsche. Ferdinand Butzi Porsche
Lamborghini Miura (1966)
Hailed as the first supercar, the design of the Miura came from the stable of Lamborgini. Stirring up the super sports car category for road-legal cars, the Miura shook the car enthusiasts. Designed as a coupe, the car could turn heads of the poshest people on the road, due to its aggressive low stance styling.
The sleek look and a massively powerful engine made the car a favourite among the enthusiasts. The Miura was designed by Lamborghini’s engineering team, who developed the car in their spare time, against the wishes of company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini.
Marcello Gandini was the designer from the Bertone automobile company, who designed the car for production. The Miura became the flagship of Lamborghini, that is, till the Countach arrived, which is a story for another day.
Tesla Model S (2012)
The Model S is that car that is considered the pivot of modern times and the car that has changed the perception of millions towards electric mobility. The Model S, that is purely electric, has range figures that competitive to the petrol counterpart. Technologically ahead and a “Feel -Good” car that has premium and classy written all over it.
Minimalist, clean, safe, aerodynamically superior and of course pure electric, this car has pushed the whole car industry to convert to electric mobility. The designer to thank for this elegant car is Franz von Holzhausen, Ex- Mazda designer.
The car has no front grill, which reduces drag and in turn introduces a new outlook for future car designs. The wheels are lighter and aerodynamically designed, even the mirrors are designed to reduce drag. The whole Designs speaks about a streamlined body design.
BMW Vision Next 100 (2019)
Taking a peek into the near future, BMW showed off their vision for the next 100 years of car designs with their Vision Next 100 concept. Unveiled in June of 2016 the car flaunts some pretty practical features.
The clean look, the minimalist design and autonomy of the car makes it a real contender for the title of the car of the future. The striking feature of the car is its wheel fenders that are merged with the bonnet. the fender expands into geometric triangles with a blood-red backlight, when the car turns.
They call it a car with a split personality. With two modes of driving, one being the “Boost” mode and the other “Ease” mode, it’s rightly called so. The Boost mode provides the driver with conventional interiors while the ease mode retracts the steering wheel and pushes the seats back for a more comfortable and autonomous driving experience. The whole windscreen is a Heads up display(HUD) which provides live feedbacks about the structures and landscapes around, kind of like a tour guide.
Merc-Benz Biome (2025)
Something that seems right out of a sci-fi movie, the Merc-Benz Biome not only obliterates our perception of car designs but also our grasp over the technology involved. The design is quite clean and natural yet at the borderline acceptance category.
What might hit you hard is the way it can be GROWN. Shocked? YES! you heard right! This car can be grown out of genetically altered biodegradable seeds put in a specially designed fluid. It is grown in a nursery with 4 seeds making different parts of the car.
Biome runs on a special fuel called the BioNectar4534. The car is supposed to take in carbon dioxide and burn the fuel, releasing water and oxygen. Cool as it sounds, we have to wait and see how much of the concept is actually practical enough to be on the road.
Being in the first quarter of the century and experiencing groundbreaking innovations in car designs gets our hopes really high for the future. There is no denying that cars have changed not only how we travel, but also how our society evolves. For some cars are a mode of transport, for some they are pieces of technology and yet for some they are a part of their culture.
There are many more who have created an impact in our society. What did we miss in this article? Comment below and let us know.
It’s on the screen you’re reading this on. The touchscreen or trackpad (or a keyboard/mouse) you’re using to navigate this page.
It’s in the pen on your desk and the book beside it. The mug you sip your coffee from.
Most of the world’s top companies put design before anything else, and for a good reason. Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola and Tesla are all successful because of their design-led approach to tackle challenges.
That’s one of the major reasons why everyone wants to think like designers, even when the objective is not purely related to design. Design Thinking is at the core of building a sustainable and successful organization.
So, what exactly is Design Thinking?
Design Thinking places the user at the centre. It’s a human-centred design process.
The focus is not only on how the product looks or makes one feel but how it’s used practically in everyday life.
It was popularized by IDEO’s Tim Brown and David M. Kelley, and Roger Martin of the Rotman School.
Design Thinking focuses on finding a solution to complex problems by using direct observation, logic, intuition, imagination and reasoning. The desired outcome should ultimately benefit the end-user.
The same approach can be applied to systems, protocols, user experiences and even building an entire company.
The Design Thinking Process
Empathy is vital to know your users and care about them. It’s the foundation upon which you build everything else. If you don’t care about the end-user and how they’ll interact with your product or service, you might as well give it up now.
Empathising with your end-user will give you a fresh set of eyes which will help you learn more about them. It’ll also give you an idea about the context in which they’ll use your product or service.
How do you empathise with your end-user? You interview them and dig deeper into their lives. Observe, engage, watch and listen their every word and action. Pay attention particularly to the little details and try to look at everything they do from their point of view.
Once you’ve got this down, you have all the information you need to define the problem you’re solving.
Only when you frame the right problem in the right manner can you arrive at the right solution.
The Define mode helps you bring clarity and focus to your design problem.
You’ve collected all the information you need and have empathised with your user. It’s now time to capture your findings and define a meaningful and actionable problem statement.
The problem statement should be formulated such that it focuses on insights and needs of a particular user. In simple terms, the Define mode is about making sense of all the information that’s in front of you.
Once you’ve defined the specific challenge you’re taking on, you need to generate meaningful solutions to address that challenge.
If you’re stuck getting started, ask yourself “How-Might-We-….?” and then take it forward.
Brainstorming is one of the best ways to kick start idea generation. The group dynamics helps you build on others’ ideas to arrive at even better solutions.
In the Ideate mode, you try to come up with the broadest range of possibilities to tackle your challenge. Here, the goal is not to arrive at the final, best solution, but the only list down a wide variety of ideas. The more the number of ideas, the better.
This is where your imagination and creativity comes into play. Encourage everyone in your team to come up with new ideas. While ideating, make sure to defer judgements and keep your critic inside you, suppressed. You can examine the merits of the ideas generated later.
Ideation supplies the source material needed to build prototypes and innovate later on.
Some of the most popular ways to ideate are noting down your rational thoughts, simple prototyping, bodystorming, mind-mapping and sketching.
Bring multiple ideas from your ideation process into the Prototype mode. This is where you evaluate your ideas and filter down the best ones.
But how will you decide which ideas to choose and which ones to ignore? Select too many ideas and you’re left with a clutter. Leave out too many and you’re losing out on your innovation potential.
Choose a bunch of critical criteria to rate your ideas on and let your team decide which one’s are the best. Carry two or three ideas that get the most votes forward into the Prototyping stage.
You can also club a few ideas together if it’s possible. However, never forget about your insights gained during the Empathy mode and lose track of your end-user. It’s easy to get lost in your own ideas and grow an attachment towards them.
Once you and your team have agreed on the best ideas, it’s time to build a prototype. Your first prototype should be cheap and easy to make. Something which can elicit useful feedback. As your design challenge evolves with incoming inputs, the prototype can be refined too.
So, what exactly is a prototype? It can be anything that you can interact with. Post-it notes, a storyboard, a simple gadget or even an activity. Anything that brings out emotions and responses from the user is a good bet.
You should make sure that every prototype you consider can be tested against a particular criterion.
Prototyping helps you to fail quickly and cheaply while testing a wide range of ideas and possibilities. It helps you break down a large problem into manageable chunks, simplifying the design challenge considerably.
Building a prototype needs some materials to get started. Post-its, tape, paper, cardboard, and any other unused material lying around is enough.
It’s wise not to spend a lot of time and money on building a single prototype. Let go of it once you’ve accomplished what you want and move on to the next prototype idea.
Make sure to identify what you’re testing with each prototype. Every prototype you build should answer a question when tested. However, don’t ignore other understandings you gain from each prototype. Tangential learnings help you refine your prototypes later.
That being said, always build the prototype with the end-user in mind. This will help you stay focused while creating the prototype.
Every prototype should be scrutinised and tested against the desired outcome. What those tests are and how to perform them with minimal errors is something that you should decide in advance, upon before building your prototype.
Test mode allows you to solicit feedback from your users and understand them better. It also lets you have another go at gaining empathy for the people you’re designing for.
Ask specific questions to your test users. If they like the prototype, ask them why they like it. If they don’t like it, ask them the same. This will help you gain insights about the person as well as develop potential solutions.
Here’s a quick tip: build your prototype assuming that it’s completely right, but test the prototype assuming that it’s totally wrong.
Once you’ve done testing, share your solutions and get feedback.
You haven’t completed the process yet. In fact, this is just the beginning. You have to iterate the whole process multiple times until you’ve narrowed down the best possible solution to the design challenge you defined earlier.
As you practice thinking like a designer, it’ll start to reflect in all your work, regardless of what you’re doing. Design Thinking will help you solve any challenge innovatively, efficiently and quickly.
Product design is a process that progresses from an idea to reality in stages.
Whether you’re designing a simple tool or a complex automobile, it all starts with an idea. And what’s the best way (and the fastest) to put down your idea on a paper?
You sketch it out.
To sketch is to design.
Sketching is an important aspect of product design and development. However, not many designers pay to sketch the respect it deserves. It’s just an afterthought.
There’s a lot of back and forth that happens between the various design stages. As the idea matures and needs refinement, sketching can become an invaluable part of your job as a designer.
Put ideas quickly on paper.
Charting down ideas immediately on paper is the most efficient way to evaluate them and see whether they’re worth exploring further.
It only takes a few seconds to sketch your idea. If you’re not satisfied with it, you can refine it or move on to the next idea immediately. Plus, it’s a great feeling to get the idea out of your head and have it on paper.
It’s natural for a group to lose focus and become disillusioned when you first present your design concept. Communicating what’s in your head with just words is extremely difficult, especially when you’re trying to put forward a visual idea. Sketching helps you to convey your design ideas to everyone in a simple manner.
Furthermore, sketches from team members can be reviewed and compared to consolidate the best ideas. Based on the features required, these ideas can be further refined to select the best design for your product.
It saves time.
Sketching saves a lot of time. Your first idea is rarely the best one. Thus, if you need to revise your sketch, it only takes a few seconds to update it or draw a new one. Doing the same on a computer may take hours, if not more.
Moreover, it’s a quick way to get client feedback and move ahead with a mutually accepted idea. The more time you save deciding on an idea, the better you can refine it further. It’s all a matter of prioritizing, and sketching helps you with that immensely.
It’s easy and fun.
Sketching is for everyone. It’s a universal language which everyone can understand. Anyone can sketch ideas and become involved with the product design process. A few basic shapes, lines, arrows, and stick figures are all you need to get started with sketching. Once you discover how easy and enjoyable it is, you won’t ever look back!
Sketching is a powerful communication tool.
Complex design problems are hard to solve without fleshing out the intricate details. Sketching helps you resolve them by fishing out the best ideas. That’s one of the major reasons why sketching will always remain an important aspect of product design and development.
If you have any experiences with sketching within the product design process, please share them with the Launchpad community.
Being a designer is the ambition of many children. Given the proliferation of technology in our everyday lives, it’s not surprising that many choose to tread this path.
From social media and animated movies to mobile games and apps, children are exposed to design in every facet of their lives these days. The inspiration to be a designer can come from any place. As a dutiful parent, it’s your job to make them realize their ambitions and help them find out whether designing is really apt for them.
Unlike science and maths, which are the prerequisites for getting into engineering or medicine fields, designing is mostly a creative venture. It cannot be quantified by raw knowledge or the marks you score in any given subject.
The first step to help your kid become a designer is to identify whether they’re really interested in design.
So, how exactly do you go about doing that?
It’s simple. You notice whether they like drawing or building things and are inclined towards solving problems. Once you’ve got that down, it’s time to encourage your kid to embrace design. Just like with any other skill, it must be honed and perfected through practice. This is where you can play an important role.
Here are a few tips for you:
1.Teach them how to draw
Drawing is one of the most essential skills to be a designer. Unfortunately, most kids, even those who’re interested in drawing, never move past their first attempt. That’s ‘cause it may seem difficult initially.
Luckily, there are many amazing things that can be drawn very easily. And there are numerous online tutorials to teach the same. With your help and support, your kid will learn how to draw basic shapes and objects in no time.
2. Give them more freedom to explore
Don’t pressure your kid to be a designer. Give him/her the freedom to explore the field on their own terms. If they’re happy just colouring and painting, let them be. Some kids may prefer playing with Legos. That’s OK too.
Creativity has no bounds. As long as your kid is creating stuff – no matter what – they’re being creative. Your responsibility as a parent and as a teacher is to play a supportive role. Be their anchor!
3. Inspire them to learn
Provide your kid with subtle inspirations in their environment. Maybe you can leave comic books lying around your house and see whether he/she likes to read it. Sketching and colouring books are a good idea too.
Or you can try watching an inspiring documentary with them. Even visiting a zoo, museum or planetarium is inspiring for kids. The choices are aplenty.
However, inspiration without the right tools is a dud. Kids also need access to good pens, pencils, books and any other instruments to channel their creativity. Give them that. Though, don’t go overboard with them.
4. Lead by examples
Don’t just order them to draw something. One of the major reason so many kids hate studying is that they are forced excessively to do so. Lead by example, teach them how to recreate their imagination on paper, teach them the importance of communication via art.
5. Design schools
Every parent is able to invite some level of creativity in their child. But, in case you have reached your limit or are unable to organise their learning process, do consider enrolling them in a good design school. Enrollment can be done either offline or online, depending on how your child feels comfortable.
If your child is comfortable with learning online “Launchpad Academy” offers counselling and some of the best courses in the country. Also, it’s one of the few institutes that network with some of the best-known designers in the country.
6. Show them “what could be” and teach them “how to”
Show them what could be achieved if they learn to design their ideas on paper and teach them how to do it. Show them what has been created by the designers in the world around us, and how they have impacted our lives.
Only when your kid knows the what, why and how of designing, will you be able to make them willingly take up the subject.
7. Make it a habit
Persistence is the key to achieve anything that you desire. Kids learn by repetition, hence keep reminding them to practice until it becomes there habit. Just like good handwriting, a good design can only come from someone who practices enough.
“How dare you?” is probably the most trending question right now among the environmentalists around the world, asking the world leaders to answer to a 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, how they are going to save the planet from climate change. Well, the answer was already in existence since Benjamin Franklin’s discovery, that flying a kite during a thunderstorm is not a good idea. Skip a few decades to 1800 A.D and ‘Alessandro Volta’ gave birth to the electric storage devices, what we call batteries. With over 2 centuries of R&D on the invention, the human race now stands on technologies that are a 100 fold more capable of harnessing and storing energy than the 1800s.
One of the optimistic uses of these storage units were found to be in running electric motors that basically ran most of the equipment back then until that is, the fire breathing IC engines came in the picture. IC engines were easy to use, gave more power, was less hassle and were easy to refuel, but, it had one problem- it was extremely polluting.
The changing climate conditions have put most of its blame on the industrial revolution and the careless overuse of fossil fuels, especially by convention fuel sourced automobiles. Even though the machineries are more efficient than before, yet the sheer number of them have balanced the pros and cons. The only way forward now is to shift to use of non-conventional sources to feed the need and greed of the transport industry. Here are few start-ups that have taken the foreground on transport on 2 wheels:
1. Revolt Motors: Revolt RV 400
The first electric motorcycle from the stable of RevoltIntellicorp, a Gurugram-headquartered start-up, the Revolt RV 400 is one of its kind electric motorcycle. Headed by Rahul Sharma, co-founder of Micromax Mobiles, The Revolt RV 400 boasts of being the first in its segment to introduce artificial intelligence in their production model. Speaking about its design, the RV 400 looks light, sporty and unique. The overall design bears a strong resemblance to the Chinese Super Soco TS1200R electric bike. Revolt remains static on its statement that almost the entire bodywork of the RV 400 is made in India, with the exception of the battery and electric motor being imported. Moreover, the starter motor and ECU are all developed in-house.
2.Harley Davidson: Livewire
Over a decade of its presence in India, Harley-Davidson has finally unveiled the ‘LiveWire’ electric bike in the national capital. The pure electric smooth hooligan looking bike stays true to its design elements as well as performance stats, ripping the tarmac with 0-100 kmph in 3.5s with a claimed range of 177km on a full charge. It comes stocked with an Lv.1 standard charging cord with a fast charging option available separately. The bike launched in August 2019 with enthusiasm among the customers pouring in. At 50 lakh expected price tag, the bike is sure to put holes through your heart and pocket, yet that is the price you pay for quality.
“Born On The Race track”, that’s what they like to tag it, and I do not have doubts about it. The T6x was born out of award-winning and extensively tested T1x, T2x, T3x and T4x motorsport models. Winning multiple awards in the wildly famous “Isle Of Man TTXGP” since 2009, that’s a decade of R&D, hard work and tuning right there.
Let me tell you this, it takes a lot to be good at something but it takes a hell lot to be the best and Tork has been on the winners’ path for long enough now. Built around a trellis frame, the commuter-friendly bike is propelled by a brushless 6kW motor, rated at 27Nm of torque and powered by lithium-ion batteries, the bike does not disappoint on any level. At full capacity, the T6X can ensure that you go 100 kilometres before the need to charge again which takes about 60 min to be charged up to 80 per cent. The T6X gets a 267mm / 220mm disc brakes in the front/rear and rides on 17-inch alloy wheels with tubeless tyres. Pricing the bike at 1.25 lakhs, the start-up is sure to hit the market sweet spot.
If you are into superbikes, this is the bike you ought to look out for. Emflux Motors, India’s first-ever electric superbike company stepped in the arena in 2016, with a vision to make the shift to green a more fun experience. And, with its first offering, the EmfluxModel One, a full-fairing electric superbike they have done just that. With a 60 kW (limited to 53 kW) liquid-cooled, AC induction motor to push it, the sport-focused bike can dash from 0-100kmph in just 3 seconds and hit a top speed of 200kmph, powered by Samsung’s lithium-ion battery. The motor churns out a peak torque of 84 Nm and a max power of 72 Ps at 8,400 rpm which in turn provides a somewhat decent range of 200 Kms. The battery charges up to 80 % in just over 30 min.
The list of features includes a GPS navigation system, Wi-Fi, a 6.8-inch TFT screen, Bluetooth, mobile connectivity and real-time vehicle diagnostics. Built over a tubular steel trellis frame, the bike is supported on 43mm USD front forks (upgradable to Ohlins Race or Track USD fork) and a gas-charged mono-shock unit at the rear (upgradable to Ohlins 46mm Monotube Gas Shock). The bike sports Brembo-powered 300mm dual-disc brakes in the front wheel and a single 220mm disc at the rear. Features such as a dual-channel ABS and regenerative braking are also included in the feature-rich package. The 17-inch wheels come fitted with Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres – 120/70-R17 at the front and 180/55-R17 at the rear. The superbike is priced between Rs 5-6 Lakh (ex-showroom).
Offering us a sneak peek of the future, Ultraviolette Automotive, a Bengaluru based start-up is working hard to create their definition of a superbike, named the F77. The start-up is Backed by TVS with a 25 per cent equity, this bike promises us a future in AI, Machine Learning, AR, VR and modern design.
The F77, is the first model, from the house of Ultraviolette automotive, to be rolled out and resembles the street-dedicated look of the KTM bikes. So far, the F77 is known to come with a full-LED headlight set-up with DRLs at the bottom, USD forks with sharp styling and a clean digital instrument cluster. To add more to the plethora of modern features, are the dual LED tail lights, Metzeler M5 fitted rims with blue highlights, disc brakes on both the wheels, as well as Dual-channel ABS. The start-up is not only looking to advancing into the electric bike but also plans to develop energy infrastructures simultaneously to assist and support the EV revolution taking place.
“We are looking at finalising the technical specifications, including the charging specs and suppliers. The government has made good progress in defining the Bharat charging standards and we are working around it,” they said in talks with Autocar India. Basically, the F77 will be competing against the 200cc motorcycles in the market. The spec sheet of the bike puts our hopes on the high shelf with a 25kW/90Nm electric motor that boasts an acceleration of 0-100 km/hr in around 8 secs with top speed of 140 km/hr and an expected range of 150 km per full charge. As of now, the launch dates are not confirmed or announced for the bike but it can be expected that the F77 will take the stage sometime this year-end. As for the pricing, a tag of Rs 2 to 2.5 lakh can be expected for the electric bike.
6.Menza motors: LUCAT
Menza Motors is a Gujarat-based electric two-wheeler startup, are placing their foot on the EV segment by launching its first-ever motorcycle, the Lucat. It’s a sporty looking bike that shares the dynamics of a 200cc motorcycle but performs in-line with a 650cc bike. The Lucat is design elements are aligned ta cafe racer, which is pretty evident by how they have put in minimal bodywork, a low forward-leaning stance, 17-inch spoked wheels, clip-on handlebars and a single-saddle unit. Moreover, the customer can choose from a number of customization options like a double-seat option or a carbon fibre bodywork. It can be further personalised with over 77 colour options to choose from. According to the company, everything on the bike can be tailored to the customers need, except the chassis and the frame. The bike sources its power from an air-cooled brushless DC motor, which makes 24PS of power and 60Nm of torque (20 Nm @ 0 RPM) and can reach a claimed top speed of 121kmph.
The motorcycle utilises its 72Vlithium-ion battery, that grants it a range of 100km in the city and 150km on the highway. 0 to 100 per-cent charge takes 4 hours, though with fast charging 95 per cent of charge can be obtained in just 45 minutes. Compatibility with the normal household electric connector adds to its positives. The Lucat uses an aircraft-grade aluminium and steel spaceframe structure, supported on WP USD forks in the front and a rear mono-shock damper setup. Braking is taken up by a single disc up front and a rear disc brake. Its 17-inch (110/70) front and (150/60) rear wheels come stock with Metzeler Sportec M5 tyres. The bike weighing at 153kg is expected to cost somewhere around Rs 2.8 lakh (ex-showroom).
Taking a different approach, ORXA energies from Bangalore have expressed their interest in trikes as well as bikes. Unique in their own ways, Orxa energies’ Mantis are expected to introduce swappable batteries and also battery bunks, where you can visit get your batteries swapped. The Mantis has a range of about 200 Kms with an expected top speed of 140 km/hr. while no data on the pricing have been revealed, yet.
8.Emotion motors: Surge
eMotion motors, a Coimbatore based startup have joined the EV manufacturing battle for electric two-wheelers with their First in line, Surge. The render images for the bike have surfaced online and it seems like they have opted for a semi faired, lightweight motorcycle. With sharp and aggressive design structures the bike looks edgy and well proportioned, at least in pictures. It is yet to be confirmed whether or not Surge will ever make it to production, but one thing is confirmed that startups in India are taking eager steps towards electric mobility, and doing a good job at it. The eMotion Surge has been under intensive R&D for over seven years and has undergone 35,000 kilometres of rigorous testing. Its been driven by a 40 Ah lithium-ion battery which helps the bike push out a range of 100 kilometres on a single charge.
eMotion has hinted at a range extender battery pack which will enable the bike to sweep 200 kilometres on a single charge. The motor of the bike puts out 28 Nm of torque which enables it to do a 0-60 kmph sprint in less than 4 seconds. Moreover, the bike is supposed to have a top speed of 120 kmph, thanks to its ‘first in the segment’ semi-geared transmission. The bike will have features like smartphone integration, cloud connectivity, navigation, over-the-air updates, anti-theft safety features, geo-fencing and a 7-inch LED screen to complete the package. It will also have a reverse function, which could be used in tight parking spaces. While no word on expected pricing have been said yet, but we sure would love to see where it fits in the present market.
Bengaluru, the heart of all things start-up, has yet another gem to offer: A crowdfunded tech start-up called Mankame Automotive, building a 2 wheeled “Range anxiety killer” motorcycle named, the Mankame EP-1. An electric sportbike which they claim to eventually have a range of over 500 km on a single charge.Shocked, would be an understatement if they actually pull that out of their hat. The EP-1 will use a high-density battery pack and compatible motor-controller combination to give us a total range of 480 km @ 70 kmph on a full charge, on the highway. The bike can promise a range of 500-550 km in the city with active regenerative braking. Powered with a liquid-cooled 18.4 kWh battery pack, the bike uses a combination of high-density Samsung cells with a dedicated Matrix BMS system to monitor and control individual cells, ensuring a high level of safety and optimal efficiency.
The EP-1 is driven by an Aramid Kevlar reinforced belt drive system connected to a 40KW high-performance PMSM motor with 180 Nm available at the shaft, this ensures quiet operation and increased torque-jerk tolerance and eliminating any lubrication needs. The braking system consists of dual 320 mm front discs and a 240 mm rear disc with Brembo callipers, reinforced with dual-channel intelligent ABS and traction control with Machine Learning developed in-house.
The past few years have seen brilliant minds come forward and try to solve problems of the society, in volumes that have not been seen at any time before. Be it climate change or exhausting fossil fuels the young startups have been giving their all to save what is left. Electric mobility may solve part of the problems that we may face but at least it’s a step towards a cleaner greener society. So, what’s your take on electric motorcycles paving the path of electric mobility in India?