Alongside the arrival of the new Hunter 350 entry-level roadster, talks were on about Royal Enfield’s vision for electric mobility. Moving ahead toward the inevitable future of all-electric motorcycles is quite tough for heritage manufacturers like Royal Enfield. However, it looks like the now India-based brand has ventured into the path of the future, as Royal Enfield’s parent company Eicher Motors has invested in European electric motorcycle manufacturer Stark Future SL.
With this deal, Eicher Motors has scored a seat on Stark Future’s Board of directors, with both companies agreeing to work on building up a ‘sharp and insightful’ understanding of the booming EV space. Under this newly-born partnership, Stark Future SL and Royal Enfield will co-develop motorcycles in the middleweight category. Royal Enfield will also reap the fruits of this partnership to develop future all-electric platforms for various segments.
Details Of This Partnership Between Royal Enfield And Stark Future
As per the deal struck between Eicher Motors and Stark Future SL, the former has agreed to an equity investment of $60.22 million, thus acquiring a 10.35 percent equity stake in Stark Future SL. Royal Enfield is a legacy manufacturer always known for making no-nonsense, old-school motorcycles with retro appeal. However, with this deal, it is inching ahead to transform itself as a maker of electric motorcycles for the future.
Royal Enfield will utilize the technologies, research, development, technology licensing, and manufacturing elements of Stark Future SL. In addition, it will also provide a hand of support to Stark Future SL in developing the industrialization process. It will be a handy experience for Stark Future SL, as it is one of the newest two-wheeler manufacturers in Europe. Royal Enfield is currently the oldest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, and gaining access to its more-than-a-century-old rich experience of making motorcycles is a catch for Stark Future SL.
As per this deal, Royal Enfield will also use the lightweight components and innovative solutions of Stark Future SL for developing its EV platforms, apart from sharing EV architectures with it in the future. Stark Future SL’s first-ever high-performance electric motocross motorcycle, the Stark VARG, has impressed many professional riders and global media, which is a sign of good things for the company to have a flying start.
Where Royal Enfield Stands Among Electric Bikes In 2023
Over the last few years, many expectations dwelled around Royal Enfield’s plans for the future of electric mobility. Even Royal Enfield has been working on sustainable mobility technologies and reaping the right talent and resources in its research and development programs, many ideas of which are already in advanced stages of testing.
Royal Enfield’s Managing Director, Siddhartha Lal, has high hopes for this new partnership and is highly impressed with the vision and passion of the team of Stark Future SL. He believes that leisure motorcycles like those made by Royal Enfield are not inclined strongly to EV technology currently, with aspects like weight, cost, battery range, and packaging still some challenges. However, he also admits that a new-age motorcycle manufacturer like Stark Future SL has been able to harness the potential of EV technology by outgunning IC engine offerings.
Looking forward to the new partnership with Stark Future SL, B Govindarajan, CEO of Royal Enfield, is already seeing signals of good things coming out of it. He has said that Royal Enfield will support Stark Future SL in the industrialization process to plan their sooner entry into the market. He hopes to reap the benefits of the Stark Future SL’s prowess in making lightweight components and innovative solutions in EV technology.
How Stark Future Will Plan Its Expansion To Level Up Its Game
The hopes are high even at the Stark Future SL’s camp in Europe. Anton Wass, the founder and CEO of Stark Future SL, is mightily impressed with Royal Enfield’s growth, mindset, and focus in the last 25 years. He has already worked closely with the team of Royal Enfield, including Siddhartha Lal and B Govindarajan. During this, he vowed to develop new ideas and platforms for sustainable motorcycling.
Stark Future SL has already had a wonderful start with the VARG all-electric high-performance motorcycle. However, the European start-up is not stopping with it and will utilize the association of Royal Enfield to grow as a stronger player in the EV industry. Royal Enfield’s vast experience in making motorcycles will help Stark Future SL to expand its production and development operations with more machinery and products shortly. Stark Future SL’s debut product VARG is an all-electric motorcycle, which is available in two versions – Standard and Alpha. Priced at $12,900, the Stark VARG is open for reservations for $100.