What is the future of electric bikes in India?

Environment-friendly technology is slowly but surely becoming an integral part of the Indian automobile industry, and the way we see things, two-wheelers seem to be heading in the direction of electric mobility too. Currently, in India, two-wheelers aren’t given too much of importance for they come with a limited top speed, poor range and unsatisfactory performance. Now while the electric motor may have been around for a long time, it has been more than just a challenge to try and fit an electric motor along with its battery into a motorcycle. However, going by the modern times, battery technology has seen advancements, which brings electric bikes closer to reality.

An electric superbike?

At the 2014 Auto Expo, a two-wheeler manufacturer, called Terra Motor took the wraps off their first electric superbike, the Kiwami which came with an electric motor that was said to offer litre-class like acceleration. It opened up a new segment in the country, priced at ₹ 18 lakh. The bike was capable of a range of 200kms, with the motor propelling it to a top speed of 160kph. With the help of a regular AC charger, it would take six hours to charge completely. This bike was fully hand-crafted with modern Japanese technology. However, due its exorbitant price tag, it never sold in India, making it a complete failure.

Challenges to face

The primary reason why electric vehicles don’t cut the mustard in this country is the initial acquisition cost, which, due to natural cost factors, is way more than that of an internal combustion vehicle. The other factor being the limited range an EV bike is capable of covering. Most consumers of conventional vehicles don’t feel the need to stress on refuelling for long periods, whereas an EV would cause range anxiety because of the limited battery charge available. In order to overcome these challenges, the government is going to have to burn the midnight oil to ensure there is sufficient charging infrastructure. Due to a low revenue, private establishments cannot take this forward.

Scope for Electric bikes

EVs are gradually picking up pace in terms of sales in India, but it’s only when the number of vehicles cross 1 million, will the industry start showing results. In the first quarter of the current fiscal year, the industry had recorded a decent growth while the second quarter recorded witnessed an increase. It was said that petrol stations must come up with charging points, but this is bound to take time. In the end, it’s all down to how many EVs will tread on our roads.

Technology seen for the first time

Tork Motorcycles had pulled off an experiment with Yamaha‘s FZ-16 motorcycle a couple of years ago. The company came up with this idea to showcase the future of electric bikes in India. The company fitted the FZ-16 with an electric motor that produced 40bhp and 60Nm of torque. While the petrol motor had been swapped for an electric one, the rest of the bike remained the same. The bike managed to sprint from 0-100kph in 8.7 seconds, which was shockingly quicker than its petrol-engined counterparts. A major part of the cost is due to the battery pack, and the battery needed to be charged after 40 and more kilometers. Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming bikes, only at autoX.

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