It just shows that you guys have so much interest for the company and its electric motorcycle. Some of you have given up, Some of you don’t believe anymore and many of you want to know what’s going on?
In this episode of PluginIndia Musings, Kamlesh from PluginIndia talks about Tork Motors, the motorcycle, their pedigree with electric motorcycle and the lack of communication.
PluginIndia had also organized an EV community event back in 2016, where the Tork team showed us some prototypes. Many of the community members were blown away by the concept of an electric motorcycle. A uber powerful EV was new to us back then!
Kapil Shelke the founder of Tork Motors, told us at that time, that the bike that was shown was a prototype and was not production ready. So I knew back then that it’s going to take a long time to see T6X’s on our roads.
We have to step back and understand that Tork Motors is just not another EV startup who are assembling electric motorcycles by procuring components from all over the world or even from vendors in India.
There are couple of things that have impressed me
- One is their extensive 10+ year experience designing performance electric motorcycles. Tork has been participating and representing India in electric motorcycle racing since 2009 and has even won some of these.
- The second aspect is the fact that they are determined to build a vertically integrated product. What this means is that Tork has been working on their own Motor, their own controller, the software that controls the vehicle and much more. This enables them to control processes, reduce costs, and improve efficiencies.
So the team totally “gets it”, when it comes to electric motorcycles.
So we know as much as you guys do. But looking at the specifications, the motor will deliver peak power of upto 6kW, which is similar to the Ather 450X electric scooter. And 27NM of torque is again is eerily similar to Ather 450X’s torque rating. But this kind of power and torque on a heavier motorcycle will maybe feel better than on a lighter scooter? I don’t know, you guys tell me, I'm not a motorcycle rider.
Everything else seems really good like Regen braking, top speed of 100 kmph , IP67 rated battery pack.
Also the touchscreen TFT display will be the first time in an electric motorcycle. You can expect connectivity, software updates and all the true EV benefits that are exciting.
The battery pack is rated at 3.4 kWh which is similar to the battery pack provided by the Revolt electric motorcycle.
If one uses 3kW power for an hour at 60 kmph with a 3.4 kWh battery pack, once can get around 70-80 km and this is the true range we expect the T6X to provide.
I really hope Tork does not mislead people on range by marketing it as a 100 km motorcycle and then having disclaimers, that it will only give 100 km when in ‘eco mode’. That will really piss people off.
I also know some typical petrol heads motorcyclists who are pissed off when i talk to them about electric motorcycles. They are my friends but they dismiss electric motorcycles as a gimmick. For many of them riding a motorcycle is all about that idiotic sound, the awful exhaust and one word they use - ‘touring’. And they say that 100 km is not enough for ‘touring’.
While they do have a point, i’m absolutely certain that these guys use their oil guzzlers most of the time in cities.
Apparently only when they talk about EV’s, these guys become road romeos and highway warriors for everyday of their life.
For them I say that the Tork T6X is competing in the 100 to 150cc category of petrol motorcycles. Lakhs and lakhs of these oil guzzling, polluting motorcycles are sold by the likes of Hero Motocorp, Bajaj, TVS etc.
And 95% of these are used in our cities making our cities gas chambers.
These are the pollution motorcycles that have to go. It’s about time. And we hope Tork can take a big chunk of the market.
The question is can they grab that large chunk of market from the dinosaurs? Is that even the aim? Does Tork want to be a mass masket player or do they want to be like Ather happy with a niche product and a niche customer base? That is a question, i would definitely ask Mr Kapil, next time i meet him.
Bharat Forge's Agenda
Am worried about the agenda of a company Bharat Forge who has an equity holding upto 48.86% in the company. Bharat Forge is an ICE vehicle auto component major. And any ICE company venturing into promising EV startups is a huge red flag. They certainly will have a conflict of interests as they will want to continue selling their components to the pollution vehicle industry. They might have vested interest in ensuring Tork does not be a mass market player. We just hope that the senior management at Bharat Forge dont have any such agenda.
Ultimately in the corporate world, it all boils down to these games. And any sort of disruption to their business is usually purchased and subdued. We have seen this time and again in the history of corporations. Recently we saw it with Reva Electric Car company and Mahindra.
Raphae spoke to Kapil back in mid 2019 and they told us that there will be some announcement by end of 2019. It’s mid 2020 now and still there is no communication from Tork.
I looked at their website and there are a couple of blogs on a charging station installed in Pune last year. No other news. Also Kapil and his team tend to be secretive and don’t reveal much.
There is one area, where the Tork team really really needs to improve upon and that is communication with the community.
Hey Tork team, we understand you guys are busy adding finishing touches to the product, production processes, etc. But do communicate and at least offer monthly updates. Take a look at Uniti the electric car startup from Sweden. They make simple videos showing what the team is upto and what the community can expect. If not videos, at least a monthly blog would suffice.
Do understand you guys have passionate followers and many of them are waiting for the T6X and by not communicating regularly you will lose the essence of a startup and will be seen as another non communicating corporate.
Anyway this is all i had, in this episode of PluginIndia Musings. I hope the Tork team will show us the T6X this year and we are able to share whatever we learn with you guys.
Do write in comments below on your thoughts, what would you like the Tork team to do better?
What do you expect from them? Are you getting the T6X?
We would love to hear your thoughts. Until next time. Always drive or ride electric.
More Tork stuff
2019 Interview with Kapil Shelke
2016 EV Community Event - Tork Electric Prototypes