Scope of electric mobility seems 'highly overrated', says KTM head
Sports bike maker KTM is not confident of the capability of electric vehicles beyond a point and feels that optimism on this front is "highly overrated". The swiss bike maker, which claims to be the world's No 1 premium motorbike brand, sells tens of hundreds of e-bikes in Europe but is not confident of the capability of electric vehicles.
The company is majorly into high-end racing bikes, has a 50.1:49.9 manufacturing JV with Bajaj Auto, and will also be selling the electric model of the new Chetak scooters from the Bajaj stable in Europe from the first quarter of 2024. The chief executive of Pierer Mobility that owns the KTM brand, told PTI that the whole concept of electric vehicle mobility is highly overrated. "It's the result of mixing the laws of physics incorrectly and also by mis-reading the laws of energy."
He added that it isn't easy to tell and convince the politicians about the sheer impracticality of attempting to make high-end EV bikes, adding that it needs 10x more storage space in the EV segment to generate energy that one litre of gasoline can produce.
He explained that a bike is a highly space crunched product, and it is difficult to expect it to carry 600-700 kg of batteries. For the same reason, he said, it is not possible for sports or high-end bikes to run on electricity.
He also said that it is not feasible for high-powered bikes to run on electric engines. This is because the weight of the battery required to generate equivalent power of a gasoline engine would be too high. Another factor that he highlighted is that EVs are of exorbitantly high cost. Prices of lithium-ion battery components have soared five-six times in the recent past as a result of the higher demand and government push to switch to electric mobility. But it is not easy to drive these points to politicians, he added.