Royal Enfield advances e-motorcycle plans, invests in Spanish e-bike maker
Eicher Motors, the parent company of Royal Enfield, has announced that the company has acquired a 10.35 per cent equity stake in Spanish electric motorcycle company Stark Future SL. The Indian motorcycle giant has invested 50 million Euros in the Spanish company, which specialises in building electric dirt bikes.
Eicher Motors said that the collaboration between both companies will help explore further opportunities in the space of electric mobility. Royal Enfield and Stark Future will work together to develop sustainable solutions in global mobility, the company said.
Speaking about Stark Future and this partnership, Eicher Motors Ltd Managing Director, Siddhartha Lal says, “We love the vision, passion and focus of the amazing team at Stark Future. Leisure motorcycles do not easily lend themselves to EV technology at this stage, due to challenges like the battery range, packaging, weight and cost. This has resulted in stunted growth of this segment till now. Stark Future has been able to understand and harness the potential of EV technology by dramatically outperforming ICE offerings, without compromising on range, weight, packaging and cost. They have created an absolutely astounding motocross motorcycle - the Stark VARG as their entry into the EV world. We believe that Stark Future has the highest potential for real breakout growth in the EV leisure space with this model, and the potential to use this strong base to extend into other contiguous segments and beyond"
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Speaking on the collaboration, B Govindarajan, CEO - Royal Enfield, said, “We are very excited to closely collaborate with Stark Future who are as focused as we are on challenging norms, pushing the boundaries and building uniquely differentiated offerings for riders. In addition to the sheer potential of Stark Future, we see immense synergies in this partnership. While they are scaling up and planning their market entry soon, we will support Stark in the industrialisation process. While they are thought leaders in EV technology, particularly in light-weight components and innovative solutions, we at Royal Enfield will draw on these capabilities for developing our EV platforms and will also plan to share some EV platforms in the future"
Speaking about the partnership, Anton Wass, Founder and CEO - Stark Future, said, “We aimed to challenge and inspire the motorcycle industry with the creation of the Stark VARG and by bringing our electric technology from the drawing board to reality. To now partner with one of the very first motorcycle brands in history, and be part of their journey towards sustainability is a huge inspiration for us at Stark. We have now worked closely with Sid, Govind and team for a few months, and have been deeply impressed by what they have created in the past 25 years, as well as the mindset and focus to continue to build and develop Royal Enfield into the future of sustainable motorcycling. With the Stark VARG we believe we have a launch model that will reset benchmarks, so to know that the bike’s technical basis will spread much further and filter into more machinery and products is another source of pride for us. It has been a short, intense and incredible journey for us so far but our link with Royal Enfield and what lies in store in the coming years are brilliant signs for the future."
Stark Future’s maiden offering is the Stark VARG, an electric high performance motocross motorcycle that promises some interesting numbers. The electric dirt bike makes about 80 bhp, while the kerb weight is just 110 kg. The bike comes with a 6 kWh battery pack that can be fully charged in two hours via fast charging and provide up to six hours of battery life when riding on trails. Deliveries for the Stark VARG will begin in 2024.
The collaboration opens new avenues for Royal Enfield as it will help the company’s EV ambitions. The manufacturer also confirmed that it is working on electric motorcycles with “strong Royal Enfield DNA" and the learnings from Stark will help the brand build its future products. It will be interesting to see if the companies co-develop a new platform altogether or work on expanding Stark’s existing electric motorcycle platform to underpin future RE models. The possibilities are endless and will help Royal Enfield fast-track its EV aspirations. The collaboration also helps Stark scale up with possible access to the Indian company’s massive R&D and engineering prowess.