The big thumping sound of the famous Royal Enfield Bullet might not exist once Royal Enfield decides to bring out the electric version of its iconic Bullet brand. During the unveil of Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, Siddhartha Lal mentioned about company's electric plant in the long run and just by the talks of electrification an electric Royal Enfield Bullet is inevitable. In a latest series of photographs doing rounds on internet showcases the electric Bullet and reports suggest that the motorcycle was spotted at a dealership in Bangkok, Thailand.
What is unknown is if this electric Bullet is the work by the company or is been electrified by an individual. The chassis of the the motorcycles has been redone to make room for the battery, the chain drive has been replace by belt drive. The Royal Enfield motorcycle also gets an all digital instrument cluster panel and features no exhaust system making many cops across the country very happy.
It looks like that this electric version of the Royal Enfield Bullet is the work of a private small-size firm or a group of students working on one of their college projects. It certainly doesn't look by being officially sanctioned by the company. This is also not the first electric Bullet, in United Kingdom an individual has already converted his motorcycle into an electric one.
Earlier in an interview to Moneycontrol, Siddhartha Lal MD and CEO, Eicher Motors had mentioned “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.”
So yes, while we will see an Royal Enfield motorcycle with an all-electric system in India, don't expect the company to be the first ones to introduce it. A lot of money has to be invested in R&D of any electric vehicle and it is necessary for the battery costs to go down before any OEM starts mass manufacturing of electric vehicles.
Image Courtesy: RUSHLANE