Ratan Tata to invest in e-bike startup Tork Motors

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  • Tork has been readying for the launch of its first product, the T6X
  • In the past, Kapil Shelke-led Tork Motors raised funds from Bharat Forge and Bhavish Aggarwal, founder, Ola Cabs

New Delhi: Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus Tata Sons, will invest an undisclosed amount in Tork Motors, the Pune-based electric motorcycle startup said on Monday. While Tork has been readying for the launch of its first product, the T6X, Mint has learnt that the startup, for some time now, has been on a lookout to raise funds in excess of ₹250 crore to fund its operations.

In the past, Kapil Shelke-led Tork Motors raised funds from Bharat Forge and Bhavish Aggarwal, founder, Ola Cabs. Bharat Forge, one of the leading auto component manufacturers, had invested ₹34 crore and holds an equity stake of almost 49%. According to Tork Motors, collaboration with Bharat Forge has assisted the startup with engineering, plant designing, manufacturing and supply chain capabilities.

The startup said that its first product, T6X electric motorcycle, is powered by a lithium ion battery capable of providing a range of 100km in a single charge and can be charged up to 80% in an hour. Sources aware of the development at Tork Motors suggest that the startup has decided to go ahead with a 3.5kWh battery on the T6X wherein the battery unit will be dust and water proof. The T6X has been under development for over past 4 years.

“Tork is aiming at retails of 5,000 units in the first year starting off from Pune city. In its second year of sales, they plan to expand to Bangalore and ramp up their annual retails to up to 20,000 units,” said a source who did not wished to be named. He added that the T6X is pegged to cost around ₹1.5 lakh once it is launched and will compete with premium 125cc-200cc motorcycles.

“We have recently opened up our first fast-charging station in Pune. Our flagship product is ready and we plan to launch it soon. The T6X is a completely indigenized electric motorcycle,” Shelke, founder and CEO, told this publication. He refused to disclose the amount he plans to raise from Ratan Tata, citing the non-disclosure agreement. “The formal procedures are underway,” he told Mint today.

Commenting on the investment in e-bike startup, Tata said, “In the last few years, there has been a sea change in the attitude towards electric vehicles. This industry is changing rapidly and I place good value on the sound logic and the approach that the team at Tork Motors has taken.”

“I am glad that Mr Tata’s office representative visited the (Tork’s) factory, understood the concept, evaluated the product and had ridden the (electric) motorcycle. Post this, Mr Tata took an informed decision,” Shelke said in a press note issued today.

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