Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, is to invest an undisclosed amount in Pune-based electric-vehicle start-up Tork Motors, just before the commercial launch of its flagship T6X e-bike. Back in 2016, the Pune-based company had received funding from some angel investors including Bharat Forge and Bhavish Aggarwal, founder of Ola Cabs.
Tork Motors is readying to launch its flagship product, the much-delayed T6X electric motorcycle. Work on the T6X began in mid-2015 and the first prototype was unveiled in September 2016. The T6X has been built after five prototypes were created spanning 10 years of R&D. With the e-motorcycle in its final stages – a near-production-ready test mule of the T6X was snapped testing, earlier this year – Tork plans to launch in Pune. Bengaluru and other cities in India will soon follow.
Tork Motors, India’s first electric motorcycle manufacturing start-up, has a proprietary drivetrain technology called TIROS (Tork Intuitive Response Operating System) which is the intelligence that drives the machines. Apart from analysis and compilation of data for every ride, power management, real-time power consumption and range forecasts, TIROS gleans information on the biker's riding style.
Tork Motors says the lithium-ion battery-powered T6X has a top speed of 100kph and can travel 100km on a single charge. The battery can be charged up to 80 percent in an hour.
Speaking about the investment, Mr Ratan Tata, said, “In the past few years, there has been a sea-change in the attitude towards electric vehicles. This industry is changing rapidly and I place good value on the sound logic and the approach that the team at Tork Motors has taken. Overall, I am very impressed and feel that this is the kind of spirit that should be present in every Indian entrepreneur.”
Kapil Shelke, founder and CEO of Tork Motors, said, “Mr Tata is one of the most prominent business leaders in the world. I am glad that his office representative visited the factory, understood the concept, evaluated the product, and had ridden the motorcycle after which Mr Tata took an informed decision. An investment by him is an endorsement of the long-held belief by us that the Indian auto sector is going through a phase of huge growth and transformation."
He added, "We are privileged to have him come on-board as an investor. Now with his support, guidance and mentorship, we are even more confident about carrying out our vision of promoting e-mobility in India. Our business model is distinctively differentiated with an emphasis on an in-house development in technology and product advancement, with innovation at the core of our offerings”.
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