Thanks to its size and power, India’s Hero MotoCorp can throw its weight around in the motorcycle and scooter segments pretty easily. Well, in the internal combustion motorcycle and scooter segments, that is. Hero isn’t reluctant to recognize its shortcomings, though. In recent years, it has turned to leaders in the electric mobility space to develop its own platforms.
In April, 2021, the Indian firm partnered with Taiwan’s Gogoro. That collaboration exposed Hero to Gogoro’s swappable battery technology, a feature that highlights the brand’s upcoming Vida electric scooter. Now, Hero has its sights set on the flagship electric motorcycle market, and it’s turning to California-based Zero Motorcycles for help.
According to multiple sources, Hero’s board recently “approved an equity investment up to $60M in Zero Motorcycles.” Details behind the deal are scant, but many insiders speculate that Zero will benefit from Hero’s production capacity and access to the Indian market. Many expect Hero to gain pivotal electric drivetrain and technology knowledge through the joint effort.
With the Ultraviolette F77 electric motorcycle making waves in the Indian market, Hero sees a potential new market for mid-to-full-size electric models. While the F77 accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds and touts a 94-mph top speed, the upcoming model doesn’t hold a candle to Zero’s SR/F naked bike.
Thanks to its 17.3 kW battery mated to an air-cooled, Z-Force 75-10 AC motor, the 2023 SR/F achieves a top speed of 124 mph. Zero's all-electric drivetrain also nets 187 miles (city) to the Ultraviolette F77’s 125-mile range. The SR/F may beat the F77 on the spec sheet, but it loses when it comes down to the price tag.
The 2023 Zero SR/F starts at $23,795, while many anticipate the Ultraviolette F77 to retail for ₹300,000 ($3,700 USD). For that reason, we expect Hero to develop its own platforms based on Zero’s technology instead of repackaging the American brand’s current lineup. Just what that yields, we’ll have to wait and see.
Sources: Zig Wheels, Bike Advice, HT Times, Zero Motorcycles