As per a 2018 report published by TechSci Research, India’s premium motorcycles market is projected to reach $161 million by 2023, thanks to the rising youth population, increasing per capita income, and availability of a wide array of premium motorcycle models and easy financing options.
Keeping that in mind, Bengaluru-based Emflux Motors will soon deliver the country’s first indigenously made electric superbike—the Emflux ONE, sometime around late 2020 or early 2021.
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“To the best of my knowledge, none of the other Indian players are working on such a high-performance electric vehicle. Also, looking at the history of Indian OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), all the high-performance two-wheelers are jointly developed with foreign OEMs. Thus bringing the Emflux ONE to the market will be an achievement for us,” says Ankit Khatry, the COO and Co-Founder of Emflux Motors, speaking to The Better India.
Launched in 2016, Emflux Motors emerged out of a dream that former Jugnoo executive Varun Mittal had of building superbikes and high-end cars in college.
However, since he neither had the experience nor the requisite resources, so the idea fell through.
It was an unfortunate accident which compelled him to take time off work, that gave Varun time to gauge the idea of breaking into the electric vehicle sector and follow through on his dreams of making superbikes.
In 2016, he teamed up with Ankit, his colleague at Jugnoo, and Vinay Somashekar, a former designer at TV Motors, to launch Emflux Motors.
So, what’s unique about the Emflux ONE?
“It is our flagship product, and its amazing acceleration of 0-100 km/h in 3.0 sec coupled with a top speed of 200 km/h and a city range of 200 km should rest any apprehensions that people may have about electric vehicles. Our technologies are indigenously developed to get better integration and full control over the bike which will increase its efficiency and deliver better performance overall,” says Ankit.
Add in features like Reverse Assist (helping riders sense when objects are in its blind spot), anti-lock braking system (ABS), traction control and motor peak torque of 84 Nm, and you have a quality electric superbike.
The Emflux ONE will cost Rs 6 lakh on the Indian market, according to the founders.
Also, barring the Brembo brakes, Ohlins suspension, Pirelli tyres, some small accessories, and the individual Li-ion cells, every single component on the Emflux ONE has been conceptualized, designed, and engineered in-house, claims Ankit.
This includes the entire styling design, the mechanical structure, the motor, the drivetrain, the battery pack, and all the technologies such as the battery management system (BMS), motor controller, charger circuit, master controller, and also the wall-mount charger or EVSE. These technologies can be up-scaled or down-scaled to fit any EV.
“In fact, we are finalizing talks with several OEMs as well as EV startups for design and development of their technology, mechanicals, and styling design,” he adds.
Powered by its proprietary liquid-cooled modular Li-ion battery pack, its nominal capacity is 9.7 KWh. One can charge its batteries up to 80% in just 36 minutes using fast charging technology, while at a regular EV charging station, it would take three hours.
“One of the most critical parts on the bike is the battery pack, which is made out of an aerospace-grade aluminium casing and is encased in a steel tubular frame. It also has carbon fibre panels for protection in case of accidents. Moreover, special safety features are implemented to prevent thermal runaway of the battery pack,” Khatry told Inc42.
At the moment, the Emflux ONE is in the pre-certification phase. However, the startup claims that soon we are going to see an upgraded prototype before the certification.
“We are planning to launch it in early 2021 if all the resources are available to us. Parallelly, we are working on different projects. For example, we have developed a couple of test benches like 2W dyno, manual/automatic battery spot welder, battery testing in-house, which we are also offering to other EV players in the market. Also, we will start selling our EVSE (wall mount charger) from next year in the foreign markets,” he tells TBI.
Besides the Emflux ONE, the startup recently teased its second high-performance electric bike called the Emflux TWO, which the founders claim will be a more affordable version.
There are two versions of the Emflux TWO. While many critical details are unclear, we do know that with a top speed of 160 kmph and 160 km range, the Emflux TWO will accelerate from 0-100 kmph in 4.5 seconds. The Emflux TWO+, meanwhile, will have a claimed top speed of 180 kmph, 200 km range and can accelerate from 0-100 kmph in 3.6 seconds.
It’s hard not to see the potential in a startup like Emflux Motors. Vikraman Venu, the CEO of the startup incubator IKP EDEN and an investor in Emflux, has this to say. “Varun and Ankit came to us with an ambitious storyline in August 2016. What they have built is mind-blowing, in terms of the team, and the technology. We look forward to the Emflux ONE.”
Samar Singla, another investor, who is the CEO and Founder of Jugnoo and Click Labs, says, “We are betting our future on electric and Emlux is the most critical partner we have chosen for that endeavor.”
Having said that, there are several challenges that the startup has encountered. “Initially, the major challenges we faced were getting in touch with the vendors and suppliers, but post-Auto Expo 2018, things have changed. The major problem that hardware startups like us face today is finding more investors,” mentions Ankit.
With consumers seemingly more conscious about the choices they make with regards to the environment, electric bike makers in India can scoop a large enough slice of the premium motorcycle market.
However, it is absolutely imperative that startups like Emflux Motors, which is developing technologies in-house, receive the necessary encouragement and funding.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)