Royal Enfield is currently the most popular Neo-Retro and Retro cruiser motorcycle manufacturer in India
Royal Enfield is on fire right now. Not literally, but yeah. Staying true to ‘four motorcycles a year’ strategy, the Chennai-based manufacturer has launched Scram 411, a new Classic 350 and the recently launched Hunter 350. We are yet to see another launch by Royal Enfield by the end of this year.
But due to climate change and rising fuel costs, EVs are gaining a lot of traction even here in India too. Europe reckons that it can become carbon neutral by 2035. Looking at the old continent’s ambitious roadmap, other markets are also striving toward electrification including Indian EV market. Both car and motorcycle manufacturers alike are pledging towards an EV future.
Royal Enfield Electric Motorcycle
But what about Royal Enfield? What is this legacy brand doing to meet the EV future? Which is inevitably going to happen, sooner or later. Eicher Motors CEO Siddhartha Lal has given subtle hints at the Hunter 350 launch event as to what kind of EVs may come out of Royal Enfield stables in the coming years.
At Hunter 350 launch, there were discussions about Royal Enfield EVs. And Sid Lal mentioned that the very first Royal Enfield electric vehicle will be revealed in three to four years. I mean, it is not an exact timeline. But it is now evident that Royal Enfield is working on an EV or at least has a plan on its mind.
But four years of development and waiting is a lot. And you might be wondering how hard it could be to import batteries from China and slap it on an existing Royal Enfield platform replacing its engine and calling it a day. Right? When speed is prioritized over quality, EV fire hazards happen as we have witnessed.
Royal Enfield doesn’t make products this way. The British brand prioritizes reliability, good engineering and consistency. If we take a look at the recently launched Hunter 350, its development started way back in 2016, six years ago. Okay, we had Covid-19-related delays. But still, we can say that Hunter 350 took around four years to launch.
What To Expect?
Sid Lal mentioned that Royal Enfield is currently working on a few different projects, but nothing is final yet. Developing an EV to match the performance of their 350cc or 650cc platforms will be very expensive. Because batteries pack enough energy to make 20 to 30 bhp will be a lot. So, battery tech needs to improve significantly. Along with that, India should start manufacturing batteries here locally to reduce battery costs.
Royal Enfield is in no hurry and will take their own sweet sweet time to roll out an EV that will be good, and also meet all expectations too. Be it looks, be it performance, be it range. We can expect Royal Enfield upcoming EVs to have around 100 to 150 km range from a single charge, and performance enough to match their 350cc portfolio. But sadly, we have to wait for years to get our hands on one.