Electric Vehicles (EV) have gone beyond the point of being just visionary concepts for the future and are poised to turn into realistic products in the market. EVs in India are seen as a sustainable substitute to internal combustion engines. A few companies (mostly technology start-ups) have ventured into this space, and have showcased promising capabilities. Bengaluru-based Emflux Motors is one such new entrant.
Founded in 2016 by Varun Mittal and Ankit Khatry, with Vinay Raj Somashekar later joining them, Emflux Motors drew crowds to its stall at the Auto Expo 2018, where it showcased its full-electric superbike concept, the Emflux One. Auto Tech Review met up with Vinay Raj Somashekar, Design and Co-Founder, Emflux Motors (Above), and Ankit Khatry, Operations and Co-Founder, Emflux Motors (Below) to get a perspective about their first product, the start-up ecosystem, and the EV space in India.
Somashekar said Emflux was established with a vision to build a high-performance electric vehicle, specifically a motorcycle. The aim of building a high-power electric two-wheeler was to reduce the perception that EVs are slow, boring, and not well-designed. It is difficult for people to put the words ‘electric’ and ‘superbike’ together, which is what the Emflux One represents, noted Somashekar.
The Emflux One features a three-phase, liquid cooling AC induction motor that has a peak torque of 84 Nm, which is limited to 75 Nm from the controller. The motor delivers a maximum power of 80 hp that has been limited to 71 hp. The motor and battery have a rating of IP 67, and helps the motorcycle reach a claimed top speed of 200 km/h. It is said to have a city range of 200 km, with a highway range of 150 km at 80 km/h.
Powered by an air-cooled, lithium-ion, modular battery pack with integrated high-power cells, the motor has a nominal capacity of 9.7 KWh. The charger for the electric superbike comes with an 85-264 V/ 15 A AC supply input, and output of 84-118 V/ 33 A DC. It is also a liquid-cooled system that features 95 % efficiency. The full charging time of the motorcycle is three hours, when charging takes place from the regular 15 A wall charger. Emflux also offers its WARP Charger, which ensures 80 % charge in 36 min.
The battery management system (BMS) in Emflux One is one with passive cell balancing. Its protection features address over-voltage, under-voltage, over-current, extreme temperature, as well as advance battery capacity/ health monitoring. The electric motorcycle is equipped with a 6.8-inch touchscreen smart display that acts as an interface for the variety of features that will be part of it. These include dual front cameras and single rear camera, GPS navigation, CAN communication with all the vehicle controllers, as well as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 4G system software. The system user interface is a custom one called Emflux NEXT UI with a modular layout, integrated navigation, communication, connectivity, real-time system status updates, speedometer, and all tell-tale signals. Additionally, this UI is upgradeable over-the-air to allow for newer features, the company noted.
The motorcycle comes with tubular steel Trellis frame and sub-frame as well as a single-sided swingarm. The standard model features 43 mm upside down (USD) suspension forks in front, and a 46 mm mono gas shock at the rear. The suspension set-up can be upgraded to 43 mm USD Öhlins Race and Track front forks with adjustable preload, damping and rebound, as well as an adjustable 46 mm Öhlins monotube gas shock. Emflux One’s braking system will have 300 mm dual discs with Brembo monoblock four-piston, radially-mounted callipers in the front, and a single 220 mm disc with Brembo fixed calliper at the rear. The motorcycle will feature dual-channel ABS for added safety, and is expected to have a kerb weight of below 170 kg. The body is made of lightweight glass-fibre panels, which can be upgraded to ultra-light carbon fibre panels.
The entire motorcycle has been designed and developed in-house. Only the braking, suspension, and a few small components have been adopted directly from suppliers, said Somashekar. The entire mechanical and electronic work was carried out first to ensure the performance of the motorcycle, following which the aesthetic design was started based on the package, he noted. It is usually tough for people to digest the fact that the Emflux One is an electric motorcycle that has been completely built in India, said Khatry.
Both Somashekar and Khatry agreed that the support offered to start-ups is not on expected lines, while customer interest has been high. Khatry said Emflux Motors has received a grant from PRAYAS NIDHI, which is a directive of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, as well as support from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s ‘Startup India’ programme. There is a need for more proactive steps to enable the growth of technology initiatives of such companies, they said.
TEXT: Naveen Arul