17 October 2016
Come Diwali 2016 and the Tork will be out for sale and by the end of the year we can expect Ather to release its electric scooter. If Tork releases earlier than Ather then Tork should take away almost 70% of Ather’s pre-booked customers.
There is no doubt that, come what may, Tork has spoiled Ather’s party and took away their prize of not only of making history by being the 1st Indian Electric 2Wheeler company but from becoming the fastest EV 2wheeler on Indian roads. Just when Ather was on the home stretch and nearing the finish line for the historic record will it get pipped at the tape by Tork?
Add to this the lost customers and for sure this was not what Ather foresaw. All this was brought repeatedly to their attention by yours truly much before Tarun and Swapnil got their Flipkart’s “Bansal funding”. They had decided much ahead on following the scooter design and me persuading them to follow the motorcycle design. They decided to stick to their design because it allowed sari clad women and elderly gentlemen (and un-gentlemen) in lungis to ride the scooter than a motorcycle and thus positioning it towards a broader market.
On hindsight it is better that Ather stuck to the scooter design and along came Tork with motorcycle design so today we have both – the scooter and the motorcycle EV. Else they would have been competing against each other instead of building the EV market together.
Analysing Tork & Ather social media it seem that both have a very different kind of followers. But LOL…what is common on both their social media sites are those lame loosers who keep saying Rs 100,000 is too expensive… those same losers said Rs 100,000 for a Tata Nano was very expensive when it launched and they wanted it for Rs 50,000. Its like they are buying baji from the street vendor… trying to bargain for a lower price.
Getting back to this review there is no doubt Year 2017 will be the year that India moved from Petrol based 2wheelers to Electric 2wheelers…. And in the very 1st year itself we have 2 options a scooter by Ather Energy and a motorcycle by Tork. Although there is a lot of difference between a scooter and motorcycle in a petrol vehicle there is almost no difference in the EV world as far as the motor and batteries are concerned. Both operate the same way… there is only accelerator and brake… no gears or clutches… no pain just pure joy and wind in you hair.
The difference between the two is in looks, shock absorbers and wheel size. The shock absorber has longer travel-range to absorb the shock (when the vehicle hits a speedbreaker) in a motorcycle due to the larger wheels than a scooter can handle with smaller wheels. Other than this… full control of the bike is in your right hand…. race the throttle and you take off… almost literally.
There is no doubt these 3 vehicles are the top vehicles in the world today…. And its amazing to note that Ather bettered the Gogoro benchmark by including sat nav on its vehicle a thing that Gogoro for some strange reason completely overlooked just like they overlooked the passenger seat AND battery charging at home… all 3 of which Gogoro added as an afterthought. But the Gogoro battery and battery dispenser is a beauty… but not its price and the ransom of paying for every recharge which will include profit and Tax and the Gogoro advertisement electricity bill. Gogoro surely has some major issues to resolve before it will be even able to compete head on with Tork & Ather.
Both Tork & Ather must look towards exporting to South East Asian countries like China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand & Philippines. These markets are HUGE bike users and they will love Tork and Ather. Gogoro is correctly testing their bike in Amsterdam… if it fails there and then the USA then it might as well shut shop. But Europe & USA cannot generate the sales numbers for 2 wheelers like Asia can but the price of Gogoro makes it a misfit for Asian market. So the Gogoro guys could either change their recharging method from profit making to profit sharing or community powered and thus lower the “fuel” price or take this ahead and develop an Electric Car with swappable batteries which would then make it much more attractive than anything on the market. There is no 3rd way for Gogoro. They are at a major signal where either they take a u-turn and turn back to review their recharging ways or race straight ahead and develop electric cars.
Comments on Company Website
Tork – Good – Could find all information and their Specification Link is:http://torkmotorcycles.com/specification.html
Ather – Average Couldn’t find Specification sheet although all the answers are in FAQs. I couldn’t be arsed looking them up one by one. The specs were NOT available at: https://www.atherenergy.com / so had to get it from Wiki & Press issues.
Gogoro – Very Poor – lot of crap info given to confuse people, at the same time not mentioning the battery recharge time.Gogoro has so many colour accessories to choose… its as if you are buying a ladies hair clip or bangles or dress… it has feminine written all over it. Link : https://www.gogoro.com/smartscooter/specs/
- Tork scores 11 out of 18
- Ather scores 3 out of 18
- Googoro manages jus 1 out of 18 (To check out the in-depth Ather vs Gogoro comparison done in March 2016 google search for “plugincaroo Ather scooter vs Gogoro first ever shootout”)
As for the high price of Gogoro scooter here is a youtube video where the owner had a small collusion with a car and his vehicle undergoes serious maintenance cost. He says “spent 8 million 3 thousand yuan, but now maintenance costs is about as high as 75,000 yuan, at this price you can buy a new car” this left the owner quite dumbfounded.
Its amazing how 1 person or 2 person startups aided by technology and a little money (exemplified by companies like Apple & Microsoft) leapfrogs over lethargic and existing billion dollar Big-Brand Business like the HP, IBM & Xerox of yesterday in exactly the same way the Hero Motors & Bajaj are getting leapfrogged by complete newbies of Ather & Tork who started shaving few years ago. There is no doubt that within a decade HeroMotors & Bajaj would end up forgotten avoided like Hercules Computer, Commodore, Sinclair, Compaq, Motorola, Blackberry, Nokia, Kodak… the list is truly endless.