Bengaluru: Start-up Tork Motorcycles that makes electric motorcycles has raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding led by Bhavish Agarwal and Ankit Bhati, co-founders of cab aggregator Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd), and other angels, including Harpreet Grover, CoCubes co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO), the company said in a statement on Monday.
Pune-based Tork Motorcycles is developing an electric motorcycle—T6X—and is in the closing stages of prototyping and certification for the bike.
“We are building India’s first electric motorcycle and are targeting its launch by this year. The motorcycle will solve the rider’s pain points with several value-added features like GPS, storage, cloud connectivity and phone charging, making it also the first smart motorcycle in India,” said Kapil Shelke, founder, Tork Motorcycles, in a statement.
Tork Motorcycles said it is developing a battery management system, control systems, motor tuning, drive train and overall product integration for the T6X. Five motorcycle prototypes have been built so far.
A number of auto companies and start-ups are building smart and connected electric vehicles to solve the growing requirement for energy efficient mobility solutions in the country.
Bengaluru-based Ather Energy Pvt. Ltd, which raised $12 million from Tiger Global in May 2015, launched its two-wheeler smart scooter in February this year.
Companies are looking to cash in on the government’s National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 that aims to put seven million electric and hybrid vehicles on Indian roads by 2020. This mission was further complemented by the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme announced in April last year, which will provide Rs.795 crore assistance to electronic vehicle makers till 2020.
But poor volumes and high cost of battery technology have prevented electric vehicles from achieving full potential. According to data from lobby group Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles, sales of electric two-wheelers stood at 21,000 units in the April-December 2015 period, compared with 7,000 in the year-ago period. But all electric vehicles, two-and four-wheelers, account for less than 1% of the total vehicle sales in the country.
“Drop in battery prices, rising sensitivity around emissions and government’s focus on the sector will fuel demand in India. Kapil and the team at Tork Motors have a fabulous 7-year track record in this segment including podium finish at the Mecca of Electric Racing—Isle of Man. They are using that experience to build a connected motorcycle for the everyday user,” said Harpreet Grover, co-founder and CEO of CoCubes, in a statement.