Royal Enfield working on an electric motorcycle platform
An electric motorcycle will advance the Royal Enfield idea of pure motorcycling, says president Rudratej Singh
Mumbai: The trademark thump of a Royal Enfield motorcycle may soon give way to the silent humming of an electric motor.
The maker of the Classic 350 motorcycle, owned by Siddhartha Lal-headed Eicher Motors Ltd, is developing an electric motorcycle platform to remain relevant for a cleaner future, a senior executive said on Wednesday.
“We are working on an electrical platform to advance the idea of pure motorcycling,” said Rudratej Singh, president, Royal Enfield. A “very small team” is working on the development at the company’s UK technology centre, Singh said.
The company, which claims to be the oldest motorcycle maker in continuous production in the world, “may need to look at things differently for electrical because we are still learning”, he added.
So far, Royal Enfield had limited product development, research and in-house innovation at its two technology and R&D centres in Chennai and the UK.
As the Indian government aims to promote the use of greener vehicles, other two-wheeler makers in India, including Hero MotoCorp Ltd, Bajaj Auto Ltd, TVS Motor Co. Ltd and Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd, are also considering foraying into cleaner vehicles, either by investing in start-ups, such as Hero’s investment in Ather Energy Pvt. Ltd, or building sub-brands, such as Bajaj’s chic and aspirational Urbanite brand.
In terms of staying relevant, Royal Enfield may also have to overhaul its current motorcycle platforms to meet the impending safety and emission norms set to kick in from 2019 and 2020, respectively.
“How our platforms need to be re-engineered for the future is to be seen and we are working on it,” said Singh, adding that, it would “help if the company can do with its current platforms, but new platforms will be built if required”.
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