The frame of the Ultraviolette F77 electric bike that will be delivered to end consumers starting November 23, 2022, is different from the frame of what the start-up has been testing for the past several years.
Niraj Rajmohan, CTO, Ultraviolette Automotive, told Mobility Outlook that instead of the earlier showcased swappable electric vehicle (EV) batteries, the F77 will now come equipped with a fixed battery.
'Both swappable and fixed batteries are equipped on to an electric vehicle (EV) to answer the range anxiety. The two basic elements of an EV, hover around being able to provide a range that cannot be exhausted in a day and being able to recharge a battery as quickly as it can be done when on the go. We choose to maximise the range and at the same, we will come out with fast chargers as well,' Rajmohan said, sharing Ultraviolette's thought process around the production-ready F77.
While the TVS Motor-backed start-up is yet to announce the prices of its upcoming electric motorcycle, it has confirmed that there would be more than one variant of F77 distinguished primarily by the range and followed by other features. Rajmohan, and Narayan Subramaniam, CEO, Ultraviolette, also asserted that the start-up will launch an array of chargers, including a portable fast charger, with the F77 launch in November.
Accomplishing The Goal
The F77 electric motorcycle now features a heavier battery than previously tested. In figures, the earlier version of the electric motorcycle had a 4.5 kWh battery pack against the 10.5 kWh battery pack it is equipped with now. This has enabled the start-up to achieve an IDC range of 307 km/per charge.
''The number of cells in the new battery pack has more than doubled in comparison to the last battery pack we were using. We have made changes to the frame to accommodate the new battery,'' said Rajmohan.
Instead of the 18650-grade battery cells, the electric bike now comes equipped with a battery consisting of 21700 battery cells. The idea behind developing a new battery pack came from the limitation of the 150 km range from the existing battery packs. Also developed for the production version of the F77 are a new chassis, motor mount, new transmission, and swingarm. Ultraviolette claims that it has been testing the new battery for over 12 months now.
The safety standards embedded in the new battery pack include a layer of software, electronics, electrical, a new thermal management system, and mechanical safety. One of the other highlights of Ultraviolette's F77 battery pack is its end-to-end aluminium case.
Service Before Sales Model For F77
Subramaniam shared that Ultraviolette will follow the service-before-sales model for retailing the upcoming F77 electric motorcycle in India. The start-up's first experience centre is being set up in Bangalore and will be operational around the launch date of the electric motorcycle. At the launch, the company will also share the list of cities where it will establish touch points.
The start-up claims to have garnered over 7,000 bookings for F77 and is hopeful of delivering around 10,000 of these within the first year of the commercial launch.
Rajmohan shared that the next market on Ultraviolette's radar is Europe. As per the start-up, consumers from over 190 countries have pre-booked the upcoming electric motorcycle.
F77 and future Ultraviolette products being retailed from the TVS Motor showrooms is an idea that none of the co-founders has omitted from being a possibility in the coming times. Notably, TVS has one of the largest network of two-wheeler showrooms in India, and it also has a presence globally.
Notably, the company also has a European investor named EXOR Capital on its board. EXOR is the single largest shareholder in Stellantis and has controlling stakes in companies including sports car maker Ferrari, CNH Industrial, Iveco Group, The Economist Group, Via and the soccer team Juventus.
The start-up is not working on any mass-mobility electric vehicle and is sure that it will not work on any in the future, but it is open to engaging with the industry for tech sharing. 'If there are other companies that are already doing something, it is highly unlikely that we will enter that space. We will also not work on electric cars anytime in the immediate future as our focus is electric performance motorcycles,' Rajmohan said.