“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 Revolt Intellicorp, 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 Emflux Model 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?