EVs have to be lighter, faster and stronger

After operating in stealth mode since a couple of years now, Bengaluru-based start-up Orxa Energies is set to unveil the first look of India’s first electric performance bike, ‘The Mantis’ that can do 200 km in a single charge, can attain a top speed of 140 Kmph and boasts of a battery swapping feature. Ranjita Ravi, co-founder, Orxa Energies, in conversation with Ashish K Tiwari, speaks about the idea of an electric performance bike, market potential and more.

Edited excerpts...

The bike being unveiled is a finished product or you plan to refine it further?

The Mantis being unveiled is very close to what’s it going to be in the final production version. There could be some refinements at the time of commercial launch. Small technical things like maybe increase the battery capacity a bit more. We’ll have to see how that happens.

Tell us about the unique aspects about your performance motorcycle.

Everything from the wheel to the handle bars for the bike has done by our team of engineers and designers. A lot of work has been done around its frame. Electric vehicles have to be lighter, faster and stronger.

We are working on a frame architecture that’s very unique to us in such a way that it’s not only a design functional element but is also very different from what some of the other people are attempting to do in the market.

The design helps in a big way to facilitate battery swapping while giving the bike attractive look and making it strong. Our battery pack has a capacity of nine kilowatt hours (kwh) offering a 200 km range in a single charge.

How are you going about the commercial launch happening in mid-2020?

We are already working with quite a few vendor partners for the components for the bike and the structure for the battery packs. However, the final assembly, quality check, etc.

For the bikes will be done by us. In fact, we are already doing the battery assembly in-house. We have a fair idea of the ecosystem, how and where will everything get manufactured as well as partners who will work with us in the process.

Currently, we have a small assembly facility because we were only doing pilots however we will now set up a large one wherein the bikes as well as the battery packs can be assembled.

What’s your pricing strategy for The Mantis? And who are the target buyers?

The final price will be decided closer to the commercial launch. We are estimating it to be anywhere between Rs 3 to Rs 4 lakh. The consumers will largely be those looking to own a performance bike.

It’s not a mass market vehicle hence the positioning will be premium. We will largely use the online channel and other customer experience programmes to reach the target audience.

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