When Ather Energy was in the process of designing and building its electric scooter never in their wildest dreams did they think that the biggest competition for them would be from another start-up company in India. This competition could indeed be in the form of Tork Motors the developers of Electric Motorcycle who are planning for a Diwali 2016 launch.
Both companies are building their vehicle on Li-Ion battery technology. Ather is having a range of 70kms and top speed of around 75kmph. Tork is supposed… to have a range around 100kms and a top speed of 85kmph. Thus both vehicles can be expected to be around the Rs 100,000 price range.
We at PlugInCaroo always take the liberty to predict the price as we did with the Nano GenX and were spot on. Similarly, we expect the Ather Energy Scooter to be priced at Rs 95,000 and we expect the Tork to be priced around Rs 150,000. This motorcycle would be worth every single rupee!!!
Tork would have all the advantage of the motorcycle (bigger wheel, better speed, better ride quality either over paved or unpaved roads, better seating comfort, better for short and long rides, better braking and handling) and none of the disadvantage of the scooter’s tiny wheel, uncomfortable seating position and feet placing.
Few months back PlugInCaroo had named Ather as the the Best Electric 2 Wheeler in the World… even better than the Gogoro scooterGogoro scooter. But with the release of Tork the TITLE will pass to Tork Motorcycle as the best Electric 2 wheeler in the World.
Ather can still claim to be the best electric SCOOTER in the world. We should be able to see both the vehicles out by end of October 2016 and in great numbers in the street in the year 2017!!!
But today the story is of Tork!
Tork Motorcycles, a Pune-based electric bike start-up and has raised angel funding from a host of investors including Ola founders Bhavish Agarwal and Ankit Bhati and a group of angels led by Co-Cubes CEO Harpreet Grover.
Tork Motorcycles claims the Li-ion battery can reach 80 percent charge in one hour when plugged into a 15A source. A full charge can be done in two hours. The motorcycle will boast of regenerative braking that charges the bike’s batteries while braking. It will run on specially made Ceat tyres.
Tork was founded by Kapil Shelke, a mechanical engineer with a passion for racing. Shelke has built five motorcycle prototypes at Tork. “We are building India’s first electric motorcycle and are targeting its launch this year. The motorcycle will solve the rider’s pain points with several value-added features like GPS, storage, cloud connectivity and phone charging, making it also a first smart motorcycle in India,” said Shelke. The startup is in the closing stages of prototyping and certification procedures.
Like Apple computers and Ather Energy it Tork too plans to build ‘Experience Tork’ showrooms for customers to have a feel of the motorcycle.
A report in Autocar India claims the motorcycle will get a display with navigation and a MirrorLink-like interface that will be compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
Reports say two charging stations have already been installed in Pune. This will be increased to 100 charging points at the time of launch. The company plans similar strategy for other cities as well.
Ather might be completely new to vehicle building but Tork is not… they have been through the Isle of Man TT twice and TTXGP Championship. They even managed to win at their first attempt at Isle of Man TT. Tork also has the better logo kind of similar-but-different to the Tesla Logo!
With Volta Motors also in the background… the Turf is heating up even before a single Electric 2-Wheeler has been launched… wonder what will happen after these bikes have been launched? All hell could break loose and a lot of copycats will try to get in. Quality wise we at PlugInCaroo believe all three Ather, Volta and Tork to turn out excellent vehicles. Volta still has not made up its mind whether to be a faster cycle or a proper motorcycle. But between Ather and Tork it is Tork who is weak in their exposure and use of social media and the internet. Ather has reached out a lot to their fans and even interacted with them on multiple occasions thereby winning their admiration for lifetime.
Irrespective of which is the better vehicle… and who markets it well…India has a huge market of the Millennials (Generation X & Y) who can afford, understand and appreciate the technology in these vehicles. The earlier poor quality chinese scooters were bought not by these Millennials but an earlier generation. As for electric car not everybody can be persuaded to buy 8Lakh car when 2 or 3 lakh petrol car is available. Also parking a car is not always available for those who even buy such a car. But the price difference is very, very less between a petrol bike and an electric 2 wheeler and bikes have no such parking issues.
Perhaps the biggest loosers are going to be Bajaj and Enfield Bullet bike maker who have no answer to these as they never invested in new technology. Well… technology never forgives anybody who ignores it and these two will be the ones to suffer the most!!! Just like typewriter companies were replaced by computers… and cameras were over-run by mobile phones.
Looking forward to an ELECTRIC Diwali-2016!!!