Hero MotoCorp is one of the biggest motorcycle manufacturers in India. Catering to a wide audience, the brand’s offerings encompass commuters, scooters, and utility models, as well as much more recently, premium ones like the Mavrick 440. Hero MotoCorp also has a number of electric initiatives such as the Vida V1 and Surge, a wholly owned startup dedicated to developing exciting electric concepts.
Hero Mavrick 440 showcased at Hero World 2024.
At the recently concluded Hero World 2024, the Surge 32 was unveiled, and it’s certainly the first of its kind to come from an established, mainstream manufacturer. Hero describes the S32 as a modular electric vehicle, one that can be used as both an electric scooter for personal mobility, and as a three-wheeled rickshaw for hauling cargo or passengers. In essence, the S32 consists of two main components: a standalone electric scooter and a rickshaw without a front wheel. So technically, folks who buy the S32 are purchasing a two-in-one vehicle.
Surge claims that it takes just three minutes to convert the scooter into a rickshaw. All you have to do is slot the scooter into the front of the rickshaw where the scooter’s front wheel will handle steering duties for the rickshaw. The scooter’s rear wheel won’t be in use in rickshaw form, and will rest on the rickshaw’s platform. Both the scooter and the rickshaw have their own independent motors and batteries, and the scooter couples with the rickshaw via an electronic connector which allows the driver to use the scooter’s handlebar and controls to pilot the rickshaw. Pretty cool, right?
Simply slot the scooter and place and plug the connector, and you have yourself a cargo-hauling rickshaw.
In terms of performance specs, the S32 scooter has up to 6 kW of power or about 8 horsepower, while the rickshaw, to account for heavier loads, has a 10 kW output, or around 13.5 horsepower. As for the batteries, Surge will be using existing tech from Hero’s EV subsidiary Vida. On top of that, Surge plans to release different variations of the rickshaw to suit the needs and preferences of individuals. Open-type rickshaws like the pickup truck-esque design shown above, as well as closed-type designs for transporting people are said to be under development.
Indeed, a concept like this is completely new, and Hero MotoCorp had to work with India’s Ministry of Road Transport to create a new vehicle registration category dubbed “L2-5.” According to Indian automotive publication AutoCar India, the new vehicle registration category is described as a “2-Wheeler-3-Wheeler Combi Module of a three-wheeled motor vehicle constructed in such a way that a two-wheeled vehicle of category L2 is combined with a non-self propelled rear module unit. It can be separated or combined, as and when required.”
In its three-wheeler configuration, the scooter's handlebars and controls are used for steering, braking, and accelerating.
It’s worth noting that as of now, the Surge S32 is just a concept, and there’s no specific launch date on the horizon just yet. However, the mere fact that Hero went as far as creating a new vehicle category just for the S32 is a clear indication that it has serious plans of turning the concept into a reality.