By : RACHNA TYAGI
Founded by IITians, Dinkar Agrawal and Madhumita Agrawal, Oben Electric Vehicles Private Limited, which is inspired by German automotive engineering and design has started not just developing, designing but also manufacturing electric two-wheelers in-house. Madhumita Agrawal, Co-Founder & CEO Oben Electric Vehicles, Private Limited, tells TURN OF SPEED about their premium performance electric motorcycle, RORR, their choice of LFP (Lithium Ferro Phosphate) battery over the NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide) battery, their proprietary technologies as well as their expansion plans. Read on…
TOS: At a time when most EV manufacturers are opting to manufacture scooters, you opted for a motorcycle instead. What prompted this decision?
MA: India is a huge B2C market with automotive being a very mature industry. It witnesses a sale of 15 million units per year in India alone (According to pre-Covid-19 data). The two-wheeler industry in the EV space remains untapped based on these numbers. While the low-speed category caters purely to the B2B segment, there is a gap in the B2C segment for quality products. Hence, we wanted to begin catering to this segment first, with a quality performance product that will be productive for the daily commuting needs of the B2C segment. With this, first of all, we intend to provide Indian consumers with EV products that can be comparable to their ICE counterparts and help them through this transition in a seamless manner. Secondly, we are dedicated to selling qualitative electric two-wheelers and are focused on after-sales service for the B2C segment. Thirdly, we are focusing on agility.
TOS: You are claiming a full-charge range of 200km, what range can riders expect, realistically speaking?
MA: RORR offers a range of 200 kms IDC (Indian Driving Cycle). There are three modes that a rider can choose based on their commuting needs – Eco, City, and Havoc. Eco offers a real-world range of 150 kms, City offers a real-world range of 120 kms and Havoc offers a range of 100 kms.
TOS: You have opted for an LFP battery. What was the thinking behind this choice and what other options came close before you zeroed in on this battery type?
MA: RORR is fitted with a 4.4 kWh LFP battery. LFP (Lithium Ferro Phosphate) is an advanced and robust type of battery chemistry that has been proven over time to be better than other existing battery types in the first-line gen of EV Batteries such as NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide). These turn out to be far advantageous and extending not just during their usable life cycle in EVs but also in their end-of-life cycle, ex: for static applications such as UPS. We are glad to be at the forefront of pioneering the use of LFP batteries in our product offering for Indian consumers. Their safety has been our top priority and with LFP batteries, owners can keep all their worries at bay. Through our years of research and testing, we observed various battery types but what performed best was- LFP. Only LFPs are best suited to meet the extreme tropical climates of India as of today, due to their tendency to withstand 30% higher temperatures. LFP batteries have a low self-discharge rate, offering a better range and longer life cycle. As scientifically proven, LFP chemistry provides three times higher lifecycles. It is safer, cleaner, efficient, and runs longer.
TOS: Where has the motorcycle been designed and what are the most stand-out features on it, from a design perspective?
MA: RORR has been designed, developed, and manufactured in-house in Bengaluru by experienced professionals with a combined experience of more than 20 years in the EV domain. ‘RORR’ is a fresh new take on what two-wheelers ought to be with a neo-classic design for the 21st century and beyond. It is a sporty-looking motorcycle for the 150cc commuting segment. Besides providing Indian riders with this design, RORR also offers practicality and a performance-oriented riding experience. It is less engine and more engineering. It is a sleek and futuristically designed e-motorcycle that has some of the best-in-class specifications, with 18 patents filed for its critical components such as motor, battery, controller, drivetrain, and design. We have also developed our own proprietary ARX Frame and MHX Technology (Maximum Heating Technology) that is unique to RORR. Taking safety a notch up, the battery pack’s outer casing is made of Aluminium diecast, which prevents any unusual incidents, hence making it safe for the rider.
TOS: What are Oben Electric’s expansion plans?
MA: Currently, we are focussing on expanding to eight cities across seven states with our electric performance motorcycle-RORR, in a phased manner. Consumer test rides opened Pan India, kickstarting with Bengaluru in July, 2022. As part of Phase I, we will begin test rides for consumers in New Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Surat, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, and Pune.