Auto focus

Bike makers too showcase electric mobility at the auto expo

Our Bureau | Updated on February 08, 2018

TVS Zeppelin Concept

UM Renegade Thor

Hero XPulse 200

The new Honda Activa

Yamaha R15 V3.0

Electric two-wheelers set the pulse racing and point to the future


Even though a few noteworthy names from the world of automobiles were missing from this year’s Auto Expo, there were quite a few drool-inducing unveils that kept us hooked to the floor. The unofficial theme of sorts for this auto show seems to be electric mobility and the theme was quite prominent in its presence among the showcases by the leading two-wheeler manufacturers.

Not that this should come as a total surprise. The Indian government has been vocal enough about pushing for electric mobility and the industry has also taken note of the target year — 2030 — and seems to have factored this in their plans as is evident from the kind of vehicles launched or introduced.

And electric two-wheelers seem a lot more feasible and practical, given our infrastructure woes. A lot of electric scooters can be recharged in short times using regular 5A or 10A plug-points, thanks to smaller batteries and shorter ranges. Further, since they are mostly used for intra-city commutes, charging point availability doesn’t pose as big a problem either.

‘Make in India’, combined with the electric push has resulted in fledgling electric two-wheeler manufacturers taking the initiative at the 2018 show. NCR-based Okinawa Autotech showcased two electric products — the OKI 100 motorcycle prototype and the lithium ion-battery version of the Ridge, a scooter that the company launched last year.

The OKI 100 has a central motor with a power output of 2500 W. The other recent Indian company to create a buzz was Twenty Two Motors, which unveiled India’s first AI-enabled and cloud connected scooter, FLOW.

Pre-booking for this scooter commenced on Thursday and it is priced at ₹74,740. The scooter boasts various sensor systems that can record data to suggest service requirements.

American cruiser-maker UM pulled the sheets off the world’s first all-electric cruiser, the Renegade Thor. The company plans to launch this offering in the country by 2020 and it is expected to be priced at ₹4.9 lakh. The good news is that the bike is being offered with an optional fast charger that is claimed to top-up the battery to about 80 per cent in 40 minutes. The motorcycle is said to make a maximum power of 30 kW.

Hero Electric decided to go all out and unveiled eight electric two-wheelers (global products), of which four are ‘high-speed’ bikes and the other four are e-bicycles. The company said it would launch these in a phased manner in India.

But amid all the electric crackle, conventional motorcycles registered their roar as well. Hero Motocorp showcased the much-awaited XPulse 200, first unveiled at EICMA last year. The bike, which will mark Hero’s second innings in the off-roader space after the Impulse, is powered by a 199 cc engine making about 18 bhp of power and gets a long travel suspension set-up.

Yamaha introduced the YZF R15 V3.0, the latest generation of its successful entry-level sports offering. Yamaha claims a 16 per cent boost in power for this one and it is styled to resemble its much bigger sibling, the R1.

It will be a while before most of these showcases are available commercially, but the wait looks worth it.

Published on February 08, 2018

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