Sub-$10K Emflux One electric sportsbike makes some mighty claims
An Indian startup has put its first electric sportsbike prototype on display at the 2018 Auto Expo in New Delhi. The Emflux One has a claimed top speed of 120 mph (200 km/h), a range between 90-120 miles (150-200 km) at road speeds, and a price under US$10,000. It hits 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3 seconds and charges to 80 percent in 36 minutes.
Emflux is a 25-person team that's been grinding away on the challenge of a performance electric sportsbike for nearly 18 months now. Unsatisfied with commercial motors, controllers and battery packaging, the team says it chose to go its own way: "Barring the brakes, tires and the suspension," reads a recent press release, "every single component on the motorcycle has been designed and engineered in-house."
The Emflux One places a 60-kilowatt (80-horsepower) single-speed, air-cooled motor and a 9.7 kWh cylinder Lithium-ion cell-type battery pack into a tube-steel trellis frame.
The bike weighs in at an impressively svelte 169 kilos (373 lbs). The motor controller limits max torque to 55 pound-feet, and max power to 71 horses – that's a touch more horsepower than the current model Zero SR makes, but with less than half the torque. Given that it's geared for 120 mph, where the Zero bikes don't really go much faster than 100 mph, we're highly skeptical about Emflux's claims that it will hit 62 mph in 3 seconds. The SR hits 60 in about 3.3 seconds.
Emflux claims a 36-minute charge to 80 percent from a WARP fast charger, or 3 hours from a 15 A wall charger. We're not sure what EV infrastructure is like in India, but nobody is looking at electrics for touring at this point anyway.
There's a single-sided trellis swingarm, Brembo ABS brakes to go along with regenerative braking, a 6.8-inch touchscreen dash, dual front and single rear cameras, built-in navigation systems, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity and a custom-designed Emflux NEXT user interface, all built around an NVIDIA Jetson TK1 brain – a device designed to assist drones and other compact devices in machine learning. I'm not sure what the relevance of an AI brain is to a motorcycle, but hey, it's got one. The bike is said to update and upgrade itself in over-the-air updates much like your smartphone does.
The Emflux website also claims "bike to bike connectivity," although the purpose of this is unclear. Perhaps a touch screen can replace any number of universal biker hand symbols from pointing at the tank for "I need to fill up" to repeatedly tapping one's temple for "reconsider your choice of transport."
Emflux is planning to build 199 of these bikes for the local market in India, and a further 300 for export, at a price of 6 lakh rupees, or around US$9,350, on the road. That's unnervingly cheap for a fully faired, 120 mph electric performance bike, let alone one with its own built-in nav system and action cameras.
Emflux will upgrade you with Ohlins suspension, forged alloy wheels and carbon fiber bodywork instead of the standard bike's fiberglass if you're prepared to go as high as 11 lakh rupees, or about $17,150. Production is targeted for 2019.
If Zero's experience getting working, reliable machines to market in the USA is instructive, Emflux has quite a journey ahead of it. And while the performance figures don't look like they add up in our eyes, there's plenty of people out there waiting for a fully faired, affordable electric sports machine. So we'll keep an eye on Emflux's progress and see how close these guys get to their claims!