Royal Enfield is ramping up efforts to bring electric vehicles to its product portfolio both for India and the global markets. While the first Royal Enfield electric motorcycle will be launched in 2025, the retro-motorcycle giant has begun hiring people for its electric vehicle business, which is expected to be set up as a new vertical.
Liftstyle motorcycle brands such as Harley Davidson and Triumph are betting big on electric motorcycles. While Harley Davidson already has an electric motorcycle in the market in the form of the LiveWire, Triumph’s electric superbike is just around the corner and is based on the hugely popular Street Triple naked sportsbike platform.
Meanwhile, here is official comment on Royal Enfield’s electric vehicle plans, straight from its CEO, B Govindarajan,
Over the past 6-8 months, we have made investments in EV space in terms of creating physical infrastructure for testing of vehicles and associated preparedness. We have also been hiring good talent for our technology centres in India and UK. Overall, we have been intensely focusing on the EV space. Being a pioneer in motorcycle manufacturing, it is easy for us to take the aggregates, assemble the same and launch it in the market in order to be ahead of others. But we would like to understand the buyer requirements in this segment completely before rolling out new products. Because, Royal Enfield is known for offering motorcycling experience, not just products alone. Our objective is to come out with differentiated product offerings in the EV space.
A couple of months ago, Siddhartha Lal, the Managing Director of Eicher Limited – the company that owns Royal Enfield, noted that an electric motorcycle with the Royal Enfield badge will have to be one that’s fun to ride but also affordable enough for a large number of riders. Here’s what he said back then,
Launching an electric motorcycle that is the equivalent of a 350 or a 650 would be a very expensive proposition. A ground-up electric Royal Enfield will launch when battery tech improves and costs climb down. The product will be a Royal Enfield and when we do launch it, it will be something good, so we need to take time to build that product which meets all expectations. The idea to build an electric motorcycle that’s not just aimed at convenience and cost saving for the consumer but to build one that’s fun to ride. And the instant torque available on electrics can ensure such a model.
Over the past half a decade, Royal Enfield has been making bold moves, moving away from its bread and butter retro motorcycles to enter various lifestyle segments of the motorcycle market. The Himalayan adventure motorcycle is one such offering, and so are the 650 twins, especially the sporty Continental GT 650. Next year, Royal Enfield will launch its first liquid cooled adventure motorcycle – the Himalayan 450. The brand will also enter the cruiser segment with the Meteor and Shotgun 650s. An all-electric motorcycle will just be Royal Enfield’s next big move.