The judgement day has arrived. The iconic bullets and classics may be swept away from the earth without a trace. Yes, the governments around the world are turning towards electric vehicles and are about to abandon fuel-powered powertrains. Brands like Royal Enfiled should have to rethink about their petrol engines and focus more on electric-powered motorcycles.
Everyone knows and recognises the RE Bullet by its distinct exhaust note, which not only calls out pride and envy but also a heritage of 100 years of motorcycle making. Now, the electrification of motorcycles has hit the surface and RE may also have to move towards electrified bikes. The signature thumping sound of Royal Enfileds has become a pride and emotion for many will remain only as a memory in the future. In the electrification process, RE may have to sacrifice its iconic thumb exhaust note made by its Cast Iron and UCE engines and develop more eco-friendly engines for the betterment of the world.
The CEO and managing director, Siddhartha Lal raised his concerns and opinions, “We understand that the technology and business model (of electric bikes) is important. We are not going to be the first in the market with electric motorcycles. But we are starting our work a bit. We are working on different ideas and concepts. But again we are thinking of 5-10 year time frame we are not thinking about next few quarters. Right now, it’s in the investment phase.”
RE is gearing up to face the drastic changes that automobile industry may face in future regarding electrification process, and the company has partnered up with Volvo; which has a considerable number of electric vehicles to make the journey of RE towards electrification a very smooth process.
Many countries have tightened up their pollution norms. The European Union pushed out their latest Euro 4 norms and India is following the suit by introducing BS4 in the country. The two-wheeler industry is having a tough time catching up with the latest pollution norms and restrictions on making motorcycles.
Despite the fact that, RE has huge hopes about their recently unveiled 650cc bikes - the Interceptor and Continental GT, the company is very alert and conscious about the ongoing changes the two-wheeler industry is going through with the electrification process.
Siddhartha Lal further added “In the next 5-8 years, we can look at it (Electric vehicles) when battery prices come down. We are working extremely close with Volvo. It has a large number of installed population of EV around the world. We have an electric bus which has been running around, we have been on a learning curve. We are running proof of concept, understanding the technology, it’s still a way off, the technology is super expensive,”
The constant environmental impacts and carbon footprints of automobiles call for an electric source of energy as the future and the overly saturated petrol and diesel powertrains will be replaced. India is very ambitious about going fully electric by the year 2030, and automobile industry should also have to take necessary steps to survive this sweeping change.