How Indian EV startups are democratising e-performance motorcycling in India – Times of India

How Indian EV startups are democratising e-performance motorcycling in India - Times of India

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Electric two-wheelers make up for the majority share of our Indian EV market and have proven to be a practical alternative to their petrol-powered counterparts. Over the past few years. we have also seen several commuter EV startups rise to enormous heights, such as Ola Electric and Ather Energy, triggering massive efforts from legacy brands such as TVS Motor Company and Hero Electric to not lose ground to the new and upcoming startups. It was just a matter of time before brave new EV makers emerged and started working on more performance-oriented offerings as well, to catch the eye of enthusiasts. One such example has already made its way to market, called the Ultraviolette F77, this electric motorcycle can do a top speed of 147 kmph. However, the Indian EV startup world has more in store for performance enthusiasts and Bengaluru-based Orxa Energies is gearing up to be a major player in the segment.

Founded by husband and wife, Prajwal Sabnis and Ranjita Ravi, Orxa Energies has been in the process of developing a performance electric motorcycle, which would compete against the 250 to 300 cc ICE motorcycles that offer a good balance between performance and practicality. Their electric motorcycle is called the Orxa Mantis and TOI Auto recently got in touch with the founder-duo to get updates on the motorcycle’s development status.

Orxa Mantis e-motorcycle

Orxa Mantis e-motorcycle

The Orxa Mantis will be performance-oriented naked electric motorcycle, which will feature a 9kWh battery pack and a BLDC electric motor. The drivetrain will generate a peak power of 28kW (37.5 hp) and a whopping 105 Nm of torque. The company claims that this would give the Mantis a top-speed of 140 kmph and a 0-100 kmph acceleration time of less than 10 seconds, putting it at par and even beyond the petrol competitors in terms of performance. “We have 30 plus IPs and Patents in filing and more are being identified right now to be filed. At every stage with the Mantis, there’s been a lot of innovation and we will be identifying more in the future.” The co-founders told TOI Auto.
At just 175 kgs, the upcoming Mantis could certainly take the fight to its ICE competitors with equipment such as dual disc braking system from BYBRE, Ceat ZOOM tyres, pre-load adjustable rear mono-shock and more. While the Mantis does not get USD front forks, it will come with a pair of 41mm telescopic forks. However, that is no measure of compromise on build quality or handling in the Mantis according to the founders, “USDs do add a significant amount of value and a telescopic unit actually does meet most of our requirements on the Mantis. This was also a good way to develop multiple vendors who are dependable and with whom we will not end up in a situation where we could be stuck with someone delivering sub-standard parts. On a system like a USD in India, the multiple supply chain systems for a company like Orxa is a very different ballgame than other more established players. We can assure riders that they will not miss USD suspension because that is the feedback that we have received from our test riders. It is not only based on pure engineering numbers but ride quality as well.”

Orxa Mantis e-motorcycle

Orxa Mantis e-motorcycle

More importantly, Prajwal Sabnis and Ranjita Ravi believe that owning close to 90 percent of their intellectual property (IP) acts as a protective shield against changing government regulations in the EV space, which is still in its budding stages. “The dynamics of the markets change very quickly and the EV space itself in India isn’t completely regulated right now. This is where a bit of the advantage of owning your IP comes into place because we have complete control over every bit of our IP that goes on the motorcycle. If you think of our competitors, many of them are effectively cobbling together multiple systems because they have higher bandwidth. We own, as we said earlier, almost 90% of our IP, so when these kinds of challenges do come into play, we do have a certain level of leverage to implement or address those changes and tackle those changes effectively.” The co-founders said.
Considering the existing challenges, it seems that the already-established electric scooter segment is a safer bet for new companies like Orxa Energies. So why go after the performance-oriented motorcycle segment? To this, the duo said, “Electric motorcycle space needs an electric product which is equal to an ICE product. Currently, we see new scooters being launched in the 125 to 150 cc segment, this was not happening in India before, but now you see more and more scooters coming in this category. Similarly, somebody who is looking at a commuter-class motorcycle is now also looking for premium build quality and performance. We expect the market for premium-commuter motorcycles to grow close to USD 8 billion very soon and that is where we want to operate.” The Mantis is classified as a street fighter by Orxa Energies and is aimed at competing against the best-in-class 250 cc motorcycles.

Dr Prajwal Sabnis and Ranjita Ravi, Co-Founders, Orxa Energies

Dr Prajwal Sabnis and Ranjita Ravi, Co-Founders, Orxa Energies

Orxa Energies is currently developing the Mantis out of a small-scale manufacturing plant in Bengaluru, which is still in its pilot stage. “EV adoption will not happen unless and until you make a product that’s equal in performance to the existing vehicles. So if I have a 250 cc bike, right now, I want something that’s equal to that, I’m not going to settle for less, just because I want to save the planet. Until then we achieve that benchmark of performance and practicality, EV adoption will remain restricted to the sort of early adopter stage in which it is in right now, which is only 13 percent or so of the market.” The co-founders believe.



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