India’s Auto Expo 2020 is shaping up to be the February love letter we moto enthusiasts needed, and here’s the proof. Hero MotorCorp just unveiled its first-ever electric motorbike, called the AE-47. Hachiroku it isn’t, but this Yonshichi is looking pretty good.
The shiny, red and black model on display is powered by a 4kW wheel hub-mounted motor and features a 3.5kWh lithium-ion battery. The company claims it has a range of 120 km, about 74.5 miles in eco mode. That mode and Power mode are the only two available settings on offer, and if you choose to only roll in Power mode, you’ll get around 85 km, or just under 53 miles of range. The battery allegedly charges to full in four hours, but no word on whether it’s swappable at this time. Suspension consists of USD forks in the front and a rear monoshock, and disc brakes stop you both front and rear. Additional features include keyless operation, a good-sized digital instrument screen, walk assist, and reverse.
"This is positioned as a slightly premium product from our portfolio, and while we will continue to focus on mass market electric vehicles, the AE-47 is a product which existing customers can aspire to upgrade to,” Naveen Munjal, managing director of Hero Electric told CarAndBike.
“It is a high-performance electric motorcycle and has a top speed of close to 100 kmph, and it's a product which is premium and aspirational. Considering the strength of our network, we have lots of hopes on our new product range.”
Hero is by far the biggest player in India’s motorcycle market. Over in the US, we might primarily recognize the name from international motorsports advertising, or from its brief 49.5 percent stake in Erik Buell Racing before EBR went under. Ducati also announced a 2018 plan to build smaller-displacement bikes in partnership with Hero, but not much has been said of those plans since. Hero officially dissolved its US subsidiary in October 2019.
Availability hasn’t been announced yet, but the AE-47 will reportedly cost between ₹ 1.25 and 1.5 lakh, which is equivalent to US $1,755 and $2,106.