It’s no secret that Royal Enfield is looking to launch an electric motorcycle in the future, and that the brand has even begun working on one. Here’s the first glimpse of what Royal Enfield could be putting together as its first electric bike. Called the Electrik01 concept, this motorcycle seems more like a design study that shows the direction Royal Enfield could take with its electric motorcycle.
Image courtesy ACI
From the looks of it, it seems that Royal Enfield will stick to what it’s best at even with the electric motorcycle – building a very elegant, retro-modern machine that’ll look quite good even while standing still. A tear drop fuel tank that’s obviously a vestige of the ICE (internal combustion engine) age, and girder forks from the early 1900s are two design elements seen on the Royal Enfield Electrik.01 concept. Will they make it to production? Fat chance!
On the production model, the teardrop fuel tank is likely to act as a shroud for a stack of batteries. The girder fork suspension could make way for more modern upside down front forks. Now, all this is assuming that Royal Enfield’s first electric bike will be based on the Electrik.01 concept. In case this doesn’t pan out, all bets are off.
Meanwhile, here’s what the CEO of Royal Enfield, Mr. Govindarajan, had to say,
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.
Months before Mr. Govindarajan said what he did about Royal Enfield’s electric bike plans, Eicher MD Siddhartha Lal had this to say about the brand’s electrification plans,
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.
Clearly, we’re at least 2-3 years away from a full-fledged Royal Enfield electric motorcycle. What we do know is that the bike will be fun to ride, look beautiful, and retain the core ethos of a Royal Enfield – accessibility and a unique character.