Tesla’s Model 3 has shown that electric mobility’s arrival to the main stage is moving in leaps, if somewhat sporadically. The need to make electric transportation cool, practical and as affordable as conventional ones is a challenge that is being trumped by upstarts. Tork Motorcycles, an Indian company, is hoping to create a similar disruption in the field of electric motorcycles. A recent round of investment has given their plans to launch their first production electric motorcycle, the T6X, a big boost.
If you’re a huge racing fan, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Tork Motorcycles, or as they were known back then, Tork India, before. Founded by Kapil Shelke, a mechanical engineer by trade and racing nut by passion, Tork made waves when they scored a podium finish in their debut attempt at the TTXGP (the Electric TT race at the Isle of Man) in 2009. Since then, Kapil and his team have been making and constantly upgrading electric racing motorcycles for TTXGP and TT-ZERO races, and have even converted a Yamaha FZ16 to run on an electric motor and batteries as a proof of concept for a road-going electric motorcycle.
Recently, this Pune-based company raised funds from angel investors including the founders of Ola cabs Bhavish Agarwal and Ankit Bhati, along with a group of angels led by Harpreet Grover, co-founder & CEO of CoCubes, to build electric motorcycles in India.
T6X: future of Indian electric motorcycling
After building five successful prototypes so far, Tork Motorcycles is looking to build their sixth bike and first mass-market electric motorcycle in the form of the T6X. While no technical specifications have been released about this bike at the moment, Tork says that this is being developed as a serious electric option to petrol-engine motorcycles. And the bike certainly looks the part. Kapil even mentioned the design was very critical for them as they wanted their bike to look like a “proper motorcycle” rather than a quirky e-bike.
The T6X is designed to fit right into the lives of the modern day riders, with features like GPS, storage, cloud connectivity as well as phone charging. On a technical front, the bike will also features an IP over battery management system, control systems, motor tuning, drive train and overall product integration for over the air control on all aspects of the motorcycle. At the moment, the T6X is undergoing rigorous testing and certification procedures, and the company plans to have a fully working prototype ready by the end of this year. The production ready version of the T6X is slated to be launched early next year.
Tork Motorcycles couldn’t have chosen a better time to kick start the project as rising public concern over the pollution caused by internal combustion powered vehicles has brought in various government initiatives such as NEMMP 2020 (National Electric Mobility Plan) and FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India) to boost innovation and interest in electric vehicles in the country. “Electric vehicles are the future. Drop in battery prices, rising sensitivity around emissions and government’s focus on the sector will fuel demand in India,” added Harpreet Grover, Co-founder & CEO, Cocubes.
There is expected to be a demand of about 1.3 million electric two-wheelers by 2020-21 and Tork Motorcycles seems to be poised just right to not just take advantage of this situation, but to be a driving force in it as well.