Industry

Royal Enfield looks to the future, reveals electric motorcycle on way

A range of Royal Enfield electric motorcycles are on the way as part of the Indian brand's ambitious '2.0 strategy' growth plans 

Royal Enfield may be best known for its commitment to producing retro chic motorcycles but even a company with one eye on nostalgia is still preparing for the future with the declaration it is working on a new range of electric models.

The iconic brand – which claims it is the oldest global motorcycle brand in continuous production – has grown in prominence over the past few years with rising global sales for its Indian-manufactured models, which have capitalised on the growing appetite for modern-engineered, retro-looking motorcycles.

However, now Royal Enfield is planning for the future with CEO Vinod Dasari telling CNBC TV 18 the company is already working on a prototype using an electric powertrain, one that is so advanced that he himself has already gotten out on one.

“Royal Enfield's UK tech center had rigged up an existing product into an electric motorcycle and it's fantastic, I have driven it myself,” he said.

Dasari wouldn’t be drawn on what type of model a Royal Enfield electric motorcycle would comprise but warned it is still two or three years away from hitting the market with it.

Will the Royal Enfield Concept KX make production?

It’s been a real rise to prominence for Royal Enfield in recent years, spurred on by the global success of its Interceptor and Continental GT models, which make use of its new 650cc twin-cylinder units.

The electric move shouldn’t be considered a surprise. It’s fairly common knowledge that all mainstream manufacturers are either working on a new range of zero tailpipe emission motorcycles or at least at the conceptual stage with them.

Moreover, Indian brands appear to be further down the line of development than in other markets based on the news of Bajaj Auto and KTM’s decision to collaborate closely on a new range of electric models, while a number of ambitious start-ups have emerged covering everything from electric scooters to sportsbikes.

The firm’s electric leanings are part of its so-called Royal Enfield 2.0 strategy, which is intended to carry the company into new areas to preserve the brand’s future and rely less heavily on its current models.  

With this in mind, many are hoping Royal Enfield gets round to putting the V-Twin Concept KX into production having swept up its fair share of headlines at the 2018 EICMA show with a stunningly contemporary rendition of its familiar retro ‘house style’

Royal Enfield has been coy at best over whether we’ll ever see the bobber head into production but a production version of the Concept KX and a move into the electric market before many of its main rivals might just be the perfect way to push the advancing company further forward.

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