On August 3, 2023, Royal Enfield parent company Eicher Motors released its FY2023-2024 Q1 financial results, for the quarter spanning April through June 2023. Eicher reported its highest-ever quarterly revenue, which it says is due in large part to extremely strong sales of Royal Enfield motorcycles. Overall, Enfield recorded sales of 225,368 bikes over the course of the quarter, which represents a 21.1 percent increase year-on-year over the 186,032 bikes it sold at this time in 2022.
While that’s good news for Enfield and Eicher, this quarterly financial report is what led Royal Enfield managing director Siddhartha Lal to address the media following its release, where he made an important announcement about Enfield’s EV project.
For motorcycle manufacturers that have traditionally made combustion bikes, and that choose to pursue electrification, there are certain decisions to be made. From the moves made by manufacturers including Bajaj, TVS, and Harley-Davidson, one of the key decisions seems to be whether the EV side should be established as a separate entity, apart from the combustion side. It’s this point that Lal chose to address, regarding how Royal Enfield intends to proceed.
"EV is very much at the core of Eicher Motors and Royal Enfield. Unless something dramatically changes, it will be within the Royal Enfield and Eicher Motors’ fold,” Lal told members of the Indian press, including Autocar Professional.
“We do explore all options, we look at what others are doing, but we are not trend followers. One also has to think about the core business - is it a sunset business? If you are putting your eggs in something else, you are diluting yourself further. EV will be the future growth engine for Eicher Motors and Royal Enfield, and it will remain within Eicher Motors - there is no action or endeavor to change that at all,” Lal continued.
That’s not all he had to say about the development of Enfield’s first electric motorcycle, though. “We are around two years away before the product hits the market. We are working super hard on it. We are riding our prototypes; we still have time. We don’t want to give half-baked stuff in the market, our idea is to be totally disruptive. It is not about taking some competition head-on; we are working on a completely different paradigm on EVs. It takes time to put together something really fantastic,” he said.
According to that timeline, we should expect to see Royal Enfield’s first electric motorcycle appear sometime in 2025. Details haven’t been made public this early on in its development, but it could be worth remembering that Enfield parent company Eicher Motors purchased an equity stake in Spanish electric motorbike startup Stark Future at the end of 2022. That’s the company responsible for the Stark Varg electric motocross bike that set multiple hearts alight when it first went on sale in January 2022. At launch, it ended up selling a total of 1,000 units in only 24 hours.
Could some of Stark Future’s powertrain development, chassis building, or other details be part of Enfield’s electric future? It certainly seems possible, even bordering on likely—but as we said, no official details have been released at this point. As ever, we’ll have to wait and see how this story develops, but we look forward to learning and sharing what’s coming.