Royal Enfield can trace its lineage back over 100 years, making it one of the oldest motorcycle brands in the world in continuous production. But now the company is taking a big leap into the future as it confirms development of its first Royal Enfield electric motorcycles.
The news comes to us directly from the top.
Royal Enfield’s CEO Vinod Dasari explained how the development of a Royal Enfield electric motorcycle has actually already begun with prototypes currently in development:
It is not about whether electric will come or not, but it’s a question of when. We did make some prototypes, we have looked at several segments, and we will be adding to the team in the near future.
The move comes as Royal Enfield has demonstrated incredible growth over the past decade. In 2010, the Indian company produced around 50,000 motorcycles. By 2015, they were producing 50,000 per month.
Fast forward to last year, when Royal Enfield approached 1 million motorcycle sales during 2019.
Royal Enfield’s move to electric motorcycles could be particularly interesting, considering the company’s focus on small, affordable motorcycles.
Royal Enfield’s bikes fall in a fairly narrow range from 350cc to 650cc models, and the company has eschewed higher power sport bikes in favor of moderately powered and retro-styled everyman’s bikes that stick to the brand’s roots.
That could have fascinating implications for a future Royal Enfield electric motorcycle.
There currently exist very few electric motorcycle options in this middle-power class.
Because electric motorcycles are more expensive than their gas-powered brethren, most companies have either opted for sexy, high-power electric motorcycles that can justify a premium price or have instead targeted the low-power market that allows manufacturers to cut costs with smaller electric motors and batteries.
There are very few mid-range electric motorcycles designed for affordability, which is why Royal Enfield’s core competency in this niche could open up an entire new area in the electric motorcycle market.
And with their production volume and what sounds like an expanding team focusing on electric motorcycle design, Royal Enfield could be one of the first companies to actually put an affordable mid-power electric motorcycle on the road.
Of course we aren’t expecting to see a new Royal Enfield electric motorcycle hit the market in the next few months. But the company’s confirmation of development work and the presence of prototypes indicates that Royal Enfield has already made progress toward an electric motorcycle, and that is promising news for anyone hoping to finally find an affordable electric motorcycle someday.
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