Queensland Govt launches Queensland Electric Super Highway to encourage EV adoption across the state

Queensland Super Electric Highway
Image Source

Thursday, July 27, 2017 – Environment Minister and Acting Main Roads Minister Steven Miles officially kick-started the EV revolution in the State with the launch of the Queensland Electric Super Highway – the world’s longest in one State.

Mr Miles said the super highway will be a series of fast-charging electric vehicle stations which will be rolled out at locations right up the Queensland coast from the Gold Coast to Cairns to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles in Queensland.

“This project is ambitious, but we want as many people as possible on board the electric vehicle revolution, as part of our transition to a low emissions future,” Mr Miles said.

“Today I’m announcing the first 18 towns and cities that make up phase one of the Electric Super Highway and will, once operational in the next six months, make it possible to drive an electric vehicle from the state’s southern border to the Far North.

“They will be available for use at no cost for the initial phase of the super highway so we can encourage as many people as possible to start using them.”

Mr Miles said what made the announcement even more exciting was the fact that the energy supplied in the fast-charging stations would be green energy purchased through green energy credits or offsets.

“EVs can provide not only a reduced fuel cost for Queenslanders, but an environmentally-friendly transport option, particularly when charged from renewable energy,” he said.

“The Queensland Electric Super Highway has the potential to revolutionise the way we travel around Queensland in the future.”

Mr Miles said electric vehicle ownership rates around the world were increasing, largely due to significant advances in battery technology and continued cost reductions in EVs.

“The most recent Queensland Household Energy Survey showed that 50% of Queenslanders will consider an electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid or regenerative braking hybrid, when purchasing a new car in the next two years and that majority said improvements to public fast-charging infrastructure would further tempt them into purchasing an EV,” he said.

Behyad Jafari, Electric Vehicle Council CEO said the Queensland Government was to be commended for its national leadership in support of the electric vehicle industry.

“This initial support from government serves as a signal to the market that Queensland is serious about electric vehicles and provides certainty to unlock investment to grow our economy and create new, high skilled jobs,” he said.

“I encourage all governments across Australia to follow suit, particularly as this support will help to provide motorists with increased choice of cars that are cheaper and healthier to operate.”

“The future truly is electric,” Minister Miles said.

The 18 fast-charging station locations
Cairns, Tully, Townsville, Bowen, Mackay, Carmila, Marlborough, Rockhampton, Miriam Vale, Childers, Maryborough, Cooroy, Brisbane, Helensvale, Coolangatta, Springfield, Gatton and Toowoomba.

Auto industry responses:

Audi Australia: Paul Sansom, Managing Director
“Fast-charging infrastructure is of paramount importance to the future success of Electric Vehicles in Australia.”

“By 2020, Audi will have three fully electric vehicles available to the Australian market, and we want to bring this leading-edge technology to our consumers as part of an ownership proposition that gives them confidence in its suitability to our national road network.

“With the vast distances in between our capital cities, consumers need to have confidence that they will be able to find a charging station when they need it, even if they’re driving in an unfamiliar region. This is the current expectation around frequency of petrol stations, and it’s – rightly – what consumers will demand as EVs become more prevalent.

“The Queensland Government should be applauded for their show of leadership, and we look forward to similar initiatives from other states and territories.”

BMW Group Australia: Marc Werner, Chief Executive Officer
“The BMW Group is a global leader in innovative personal mobility and we currently offer seven pure electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles in the Australian market.  We have the product and the customers – now all we need is the infrastructure.”

“And that’s why it is so heartening to see the Queensland Government showing such strong leadership with strategic policy direction and action on infrastructure.  This progressive initiative sets the benchmark for other Australian governments to follow.”

Hyundai Motor Company Australia: Scott Grant, Chief Operating Officer
“Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) is proud to support the Qld Government in its zero emission initiatives and the rollout of an Electric Super Highway network. We look forward to the other states following Queensland’s lead in developing infrastructure to support low and zero emission vehicles in Australia.

As one of the global automotive leaders in green vehicle technology, Hyundai Motor will continue to work with the Queensland Government to move towards a sustainable transport future.”

Jaguar Land Rover: Matthew Wiesner, Managing Director
“We are shaping the future at JLR. Up to half of Jaguar Land Rover’s line-up will be plug-in hybrids or electric vehicles by 2020.”

“JLR Australia applauds the Queensland government’s plans for its support of the electric vehicle industry, and in particular their plans for the Electric Super Highway and the planned roll-out of the Type 2 DC charger network, and we would encourage other states and territories to follow in the same direction.”

“Further incentives and rebates are required to expedite the take-up of electric vehicles by Australian consumers, and we encourage all governments to look at reducing Stamp Duty, Registration and Luxury Car Tax on electric and hybrid vehicles as this support will help to provide motorists with increased choice of cars that are cheaper and healthier to operate.”

Mercedes-Benz: David McCarthy, Senior Manager Public Relations
“A prime objective of Mercedes-Benz is emission free driving. We already have produced Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles for consumers and these will be added to in the near future. We currently have introduced a range of PHEV’s and we will follow these with a range of pure EV’s in Australia in 2019. We have invested in our own unique design solar charging station with battery capture at our Melbourne Head Office that powers our Company fleet of PHEVs.”

Mitsubishi Motors Australia: John Signoriello, Chief Executive Officer
“We are very pleased with the Queensland Government’s proactive approach with their investment in the EV Superhighway. This is very positive step forward and has the potential to shift the way consumers view electric vehicles in Australia and reduce any reluctance to adopting electric vehicle technology.”

Via QLD Govt Media Statement and EVC

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Hitachi Automotive Systems and Honda Motor establish Joint Venture for electric vehicle motors

Hitachi Automotive Sytems
Image Source : Link

Tokyo, July 3, 2017 — Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced the establishment of a joint venture company for the development, manufacture and sales of motors for electric vehicles on the premises of Hitachi Automotive Systems in Hitachinaka-shi, Ibaraki Prefecture.

As announced on February 7, 2017, the two companies have conducted discussions based on a Memorandum of Understanding signed on February 3, and entered into a joint venture agreement on March 24 to make more tangible preparations to establish the new company. The newly established company will receive a financial grant from Ibaraki Prefecture as it has been recognized as a relevant project that “promotes the establishment of corporate head office functions” within the prefecture.

Name of company Hitachi Automotive Electric Motor Systems, Ltd.
Location 2520 Takaba, Hitachinaka-shi, Ibaraki Prefecture
Representative Noboru Yamaguchi, President
Business Development, manufacture and sales of motors for electric vehicles
Contribution 5 billion yen (capital: 2.5 billion yen, capital reserve: 2.5 billion yen)
Date of establishment July 3, 2017
Investment ratio Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. 51%
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. 49%

The new company will respond to the growing global demand from automakers for electric vehicle motors by developing competitive motors that combine the expertise of the two companies.

About Hitachi Automotive Systems

Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The company is engaged in the development, manufacture, sales and services of automotive components, transportation related components, industrial machines and systems, and offers a wide range of automotive systems including engine management systems, electric power train systems, drive control systems and car information systems. For more information, please visit the company’s website at http://www.hitachi-automotive.co.jp/en/.

About Honda Motor Co.

Honda Motor Co. (NYSE: HMC) Honda designs, manufactures and markets automobiles, motorcycles, power products and aviation products worldwide. A global leader in powertrain and electromotive technologies, Honda produces nearly 28 million engines annually for its three product lines. Honda and its partners build products in more than 60 manufacturing plants in 27 countries, employing more than 208,000 associates globally.

Via: Hitachi


*Information contained in this news release is current as of the date of the press announcement, but may be subject to change without prior notice


 

India’s first 100% electric vehicle fleet cab service: Lithium Urban Technologies

Lithium Urban Technologies calls itself the company which delivers tomorrow’s transport transportation today(their tagline “TOMORROW’S TRANSPORTATION. TODAY.) and that might sound like an audacious claim from an Indian cab service provider that too from a startup. But that is true, it is the only company in India to have 100% electric fleet, it is the first zero emission transport service provider of India.

Lithium Urban Technologies Pvt Ltd is founded in October 2014 by Sanjay Krishan in Bengaluru. The company initially started off with 10 Mahindra e2o’s  and now they have a fleet of 200 plus electric vehicles and several hundred more are in pipeline. They started their operations initially in Bengaluru and now they are planning to enter North Central Region(NCR) of India. Despite many oddities the company is successfully marching ahead into new regions and new segments.

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Lithium Urban Technologies Co-Founder Sanjay Akhileswaran Krishnan. Image source: link

Why Electric Vehicles? Simple, the founders are feeling responsible for the the environment and are daring enough to do something good.

Is it Commercially Viable? Looking at the oddities the answer must be a big no, but the company is proving that it is possible to strike balance between commercial viability and environmental friendliness.In general, addressing one negates the other and growing while balancing both(profitability & environmental friendliness) is a commendable job.

What are the oddities before the company? 

  • Lack of Charging Infrastructure: Charging stations to electric vehicles are like petrol bunks to IC engine cars. In America there are very few charging stations compared to the number of gas stations, let alone India the number is minuscule.
  • Lack of uninterrupted power supply: If somehow the company manages to find or establish charging stations, then there is this problem of getting 24*7 power supply let alone quality supply. Getting quality power without interruptions throughout the year throughout the country is a tough ask in India.
  • Lack of Proper Electric Vehicles: The only electric vehicle available for purchase in India is Mahindra e2o(at the time founding Lithium Urban) which in many aspects is inferior to its conventional counterparts. Aspects like cramped interiors, rear seats access and range per charge are a few to say.
  • Battery Life and Replacement Costs: Battery pack to electric vehicles is like a fuel tank to IC engine cars. Let me use an analogy to help you understand the problems associated with battery packs. Imagine if your car’s fuel tank decreases in size over time & it cannot hold same amount of fuel as it does in the initial days and also it cannot take fuel at higher inflow rates so you have to slowly pump the fuel or it will spill off. And you have replace the fuel tank a couple of times before you replace the car itself. That is how it is with Electric Cars & Battery Packs. Though this a problem now, in the future this might not be a problem as the batteries are constantly improving and also battery costs are constantly falling.
  • Establishment Costs: Apart from the real estate costs,telemetry platform costs and other costs, the major capital requirement for any cab service provider is capital to purchase the fleet. In case of electric vehicle fleet the cost is multiple times higher than that of the conventional fleet. Mahindra e20 base variant on-road price in Bengaluru is INR 7.10 lakh and Tata Nano base variant on-road price in Bengaluru is INR 2.32 lakh. (*According to Cardekho and Tata Motors websites respectively ** Mahindra e20 is now discontinued and replaced with Mahindra e20 Plus)
  • And many more challenges like customer perception towards electric vehicles, safety(possibility of battery explosions),…etc are to be addressed by the company.

Lithium Urban Technologies despite all these challenges is managing to succeed and move forward. And apart from these inherent challenges associated with electric vehicles there are challenges like competition from established players and biggies national & international like Ola and Uber etc.

How the company is overcoming all these difficulties and progressing? The answer is simple, to start with, they chose a sub segment which they can serve despite their limitations. And as the numbers rise they will explore new segments and new geographies.

litihium_urban_technologies
Lithium Urban’s website’s landing page

What is the segment and city that they chose to start their operations? The segment is Corporate Employees Transport and the city is Bengaluru/Bangalore. The company found out that catering to corporate customers can solve many of their hurdles at once. Well, but why & how choosing corporates as their clients can help them. And what is the business model adopted.

  • Lithium is counting on the corporate companies to recharge their cars as the companies will already have the required infrastructure to supply uninterrupted & quality power. Lithium establishes a charging station at the premises of a company that signs up with them for their transportation services.

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    Lithium’s charging station at a company’s premises
  • The corporates have to pay Lithium on per-car-per-month basis irrespective of the miles driven. And the companies(clients) have to bear the electricity bills.
  • As the routes are fixed, timings are known and passengers are known, predictability is more and the complexities involved are less compared to that of their counterparts.
  • Coming to financial hurdles, apart from the founding members own investments, Lithium got backing from Robin Chase and Ramachandran. Ramachandran is chairman at InKlude Labs and former head of Morgan Stanley India. Robin Chase is a transportation entrepreneur and co-founder of ZipCar. Both the investors are happy and optimistic about Lithium Urban.

Companies saw partnering with Lithium Urban Technologies as a tool to reduce their carbon footprint and as a part of their social responsibility. Soon, Lithium roped in Tesco Plc as their first client. And other companies followed the suit. Companies like Accenture, Adobe Systems and VMware are few of their clients. VMware is one of their biggest clients.

Where Next and What Next? Lithium is planning to operate pan India. As most of their corporate clients have offices at more than one city and have thousands of employees at each city, Lithium is planning to extend the services to their existing clients at their other locations. This includes cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad etc.

As they spread across various  cities and scale up, they will start catering to non corporate clients i.e., to public. Until then they will concentrate only on corporate clients.

Coming to the what next question, The future of urban public transportation will be driven by four key tenets: clean, distributed, shared and connected, according to Krishnan. Keeping that in mind, he wants Lithium to eventually engage across the electric mobility value chain.

lithium-urban-technologies-bangalore
Image source: link

Sanjay Krishnan plans to collaborate with more OEMs to introduce different new form factors (vehicles) for freight, mass transit and consumer transport by April 2017, and wants the company to expand its fleet to 6,000 vehicles in four years.To do all that and more, the company, which has raised $1.3 million of equity and $1.3 million of debt, is looking to raise $6-7 million.

In addition to Ramachandran and Chase, Lithium counts KPIT promoters’ group, Kewal Nohria, Cognizant’s Lakshmi Narayanan, H.V. (Prasad) Subramaniam and Subrata Ghosh as its angel investors.

And another member to back Lithium Urban Technologies is none other than the man who gave India its first electric car Reva, Chetan Maini. Maini is also very optimistic about Lithium.

“When I started Reva, it was way ahead of its time. What is happening today is a host of factors coming together” such as better technology, awareness of electric cars and a more favourable policy stance from global lawmakers, he said.

“The long-term vision is to move into several different product platforms,” said Maini, who is a co-promoter, board member and investor of Lithium.

While Lithium is currently focused on corporate transport in India, Maini expects a future where it could dabble in other mobility areas such as goods transport and “first-mile/last-mile” delivery, and think beyond India.


Reference links and source links:

  1. Company Profile
  2. Sanjay Krishnan
  3. Company Website
  4. The Better India
  5. PluginIndia
  6. LiveMint
  7. Company Profile @ Zauba Corp

 

[Jobs] 11 Job openings at Rimac Automobili & Greyp Bikes ; For mechanical & electrical engineers and more

Rimac Automobili is a Croatian car manufacturer that develops and produces high-performance electric cars, drivetrain and battery systems, headquartered  at Sveta Nedelja, Croatia. Rimac Automobili’s first model, the Concept One, is known as the world’s fastest production electric vehicle. While Rimac sells high-performance vehicles under their own brand, the company develops and produces drivetrain systems and full vehicles for other companies. Greyp Bikes is a sister company that makes electric bikes.

Rimac Automobili and Greyp Bikes are expanding fast(fast like their cars) – 11 new ads for about 30 positions are opened. ( Our last post about Job Opportunities at Rimac Automobili )

Mechanical and Electrical Engineering positions are especially hot! Take a look and apply.

Current Openings

Serial# Job Title Location Description & Apply link
1 R&D Engineer – Mechanical Zagreb, Croatia Click Here
2 Battery System Engineer Zagreb, Croatia Click Here
3 Senior Embedded Software Engineer Sveta Nedelja, Croatia Click Here
4 Junior Embedded Software Engineer Sveta Nedelja, Croatia Click Here
5 Mobile App Developer Sveta Nedelja, Croatia Click Here
6 Front-End Web Developer Sveta Nedelja, Croatia Click Here
7 Back-End Web Developer Sveta Nedelja, Croatia Click Here
8 Homologation Specialist Zagreb, Croatia Click Here
9 Documentation Engineer Zagreb, Croatia Click Here
10 CNC Programmer/ Operator Sveta Nedelja, Croatia Click Here
11 Open Application Sveta Nedelja, Croatia Click Here
concept_one_05_dynamic_151252
Rimac Concept One can reach 100 km/h from standstill in 2.8 seconds
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Greyp Bike

How it all started: The conception of Toyota Prius

On January 16, 1992, the Toyota Motor Corporation announced the Earth Charter, a document outlining goals to develop and market low emission vehicles.

In September 1993 Toyota R&D Executive Vice President Yoshirio Kimbara created G21, a committee to research cars for the 21st century. On February 1, 1994, the first official meeting of the G21 project team took place. The team determined the goal of G21 is to create a car that is resource and environmentally friendly while retaining the benefits of modern cars. The development effort was led by Takehisa Yaegashi, who was tasked with building a car that bridged the gap between electric and gasoline powered vehicles.

In 1994, Toyota executive Takeshi Uchiyamada was given the task of creating a new car that would be both fuel efficient and environmentally friendly. In late 1994, the G21 team designed a concept car with a hybrid engine for the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show. The vehicle was named “Prius,” the Latin word for “prior” or “before.” It was shown on October 27, 1995. In late 1996, test driving began.

1200px-Toyota_Prius_1996_prototype_front
1996 Prius Prototype . Image source Wikimedia Commons

After reviewing over 100 hybrid designs, the engineering team ultimately settled on a continuously variable transmission (CVT) design based largely on a 2000 TRW patent application, but many technical and engineering problems had to be solved within the three years that the team was given to bring the car to the Japanese market, a goal they barely achieved as the first Prius went on sale in December 1997. One major problem was the longevity of the battery, which needed to last between 7 and 10 years. The solution the engineers came up with was to keep the battery pack between 60% and 40% charged, proving to be the “sweet spot” for extending the battery life to roughly that of the other car components. A Toyota spokesperson stated that “Toyota chose this name because the Prius vehicle is the predecessor of cars to come.”

1200px-Ni-MH_Battery_01
Battery pack from second generation Prius

Initially, in December 10 1997, first Prius went on sale in the domestic market that is Japan. At the time of launch, first generation Prius, was the world’s first mass produced gasoline-electric hybrid car. Later in 2001, more powerful version was introduced in United States Of America.

The Prius is sold in over 90 markets, with Japan and the United States being its largest markets. Global cumulative Prius liftback sales reached the milestone 1 million vehicle mark in May 2008, 2 million in September 2010, and passed the 3 million mark in June 2013. Cumulative sales of 1 million Priuses were achieved in the US by early April 2011,and Japan reached the 1 million mark in August 2011.As of April 2016, the Prius liftback is the world’s top selling hybrid car with 3.73 million units sold.

1200px-1st-Toyota-Prius
First generation Prius
1200px-2nd_Toyota_Prius
Second generation Prius
1200px-2010_Toyota_Prius_V_--_04-20-2010
Third generation Prius
1200px-Toyota_Prius_(IV)_–_Frontansicht,_19._September_2015,_Frankfurt (1)
Fourth generation Prius

 

Source: Wikipedia

 

What is FAME India Scheme? What vehicles are eligible and how much incentive is provided ?

India’s automotive space is up for a big change. Government is very keen to reduce pollution on roads and hence pushing the industry to bring new technologies to India. With a Mission to accelerate India’s  transition to sustainable energy Govt of India introduced FAME-India-Scheme which means “Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles”. Through the scheme govt is providing subsidies on the purchase of eligible vehicles such as plug-in hybrids , conventional hybrids and full electrics.

Conventional hybrids consist both engine and electric motor but they cannot be charged externally, they are charged only by regenerative energy.Where as the plug-in hybrids can be charged by external power sources. The full electrics will have only electric drivetrain powered by batteries and are charged only through external sources.

01-hybrid-cars-gasoline-electric-hybrid-system-with-internal-combustion-engine_thumb
Conventional Hybrid
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Plug-In Hybrid
mahindra-e2o-reva
Full Electric Mahindra E20

Here is the list of vehicles and their respective incentives under FAME-India scheme:

1 OEM Name: Ajanta Manufacturing Limited

S.No. Model Name Vehicle Type Incentive Amount
1 J-50 PLUS Two Wheeler 7500.00
2 OEM Name: Ampere Vehicles Private Limited

S.No. Model Name Vehicle Type Incentive Amount
1 V60 Two Wheeler 7500.00
2 Ampere-V48 Two Wheeler 7500.00
3 OEM Name: Avon Cycles Limited

S.No. Model Name Vehicle Type Incentive Amount
1 AVON ESCOOT 207 Two Wheeler 7500.00
2 AVON E MATE Two Wheeler 7500.00
4 OEM Name: Chris Motors

S.No. Model Name Vehicle Type Incentive Amount
1 Breeze lite Two Wheeler 7500.00
5 OEM Name: Electrotherm (India) Limited

S.No. Model Name Vehicle Type Incentive Amount
1 Yo Electron ER Two Wheeler 7500.00
2 Yo Xplor Two Wheeler 7500.00
3 Yo Spark Two Wheeler 9400.00
4 Yo Exl ER Two Wheeler 9400.00
6 OEM Name: Hero Electric Vehicles Private Limited

S.No. Model Name Vehicle Type Incentive Amount
1 Maxi Two Wheeler 7500.00
2 Zion Two Wheeler 7500.00
3 Optima Plus Two Wheeler 7500.00
4 E Sprint Two Wheeler 9400.00
5 Photon Two Wheeler 9400.00
6 Cruz Two Wheeler 7500.00
7 Hero Wave Two Wheeler 7500.00
8 Hero Wave DX – Extra Mile Two Wheeler 7500.00
9 OPTIMA DX Two Wheeler 7500.00
10 NYX Two Wheeler 7500.00
11 OPTIMA DX LI Two Wheeler 17000.00
7 OEM Name: Lohia Auto Industries

S.No. Model Name Vehicle Type Incentive Amount
1 OMA STAR Two Wheeler 7500.00
2 OMA STAR DX Two Wheeler 7500.00
3 GENIUS Two Wheeler 7500.00
8 OEM Name: Mahindra and Mahindra Limited

S.No. Model Name Vehicle Type Incentive Amount
1 E-VERITO Four Wheeler 138000.00
9 OEM Name: Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Private Limited

S.No. Model Name Vehicle Type Incentive Amount
1 E2O T2 – 48V Li-on Winston 450 Amp Four Wheeler 124000.00
2 E2O T1 -72V Li-ion ATL 550 Amp Four Wheeler 124000.00
3 E2O T6 – 48V Li -ion CALB 450 AMP Four Wheeler 124000.00
10 OEM Name: Maruti Suzuki India Limited

S.No. Model Name Vehicle Type Incentive Amount
1 Maruti Ciaz Diesel SHVS Std. Four Wheeler 13000.00
2 MARUTI ERTIGA LDI SHVS Four Wheeler 13000.00
11 OEM Name: Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Limited

S.No. Model Name Vehicle Type Incentive Amount
1 TOYOTA CAMRY HYBRID Four Wheeler 70000.00

*Incentive Amount in INR

SPERO: A new eBicycle from the Coimbatore based Milltex Engineers Pvt Ltd

Thanks to Elon Musk and his Mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. He showed to and convinced the world that electric vehicles can be as cool and practical as the combustion engine vehicles. He inspired the world to such an extent that we are now seeing a plethora of electric vehicle launches regularly. Even India is no exception, here’s one example. This time it is an eBicycle SPERO designed and manufactured by Milltex Engineers Pvt Ltd.

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Lets get into the details of the bike:

  • The bike comes equipped with three battery capacities with ranges of 30km, 60km and 100km. You can choose the one according to your requirement.
  • Maximum speed when operated on battery is 25km per hour and can accelerate from 0-25kmph in 10 seconds.
  • The bike features digital gears i.e., you can change the gears just by clicking buttons provided.
  • The battery can be charged upto 80% in 3 hours as claimed by the company. The battery can detached and swapped easily. There is 1 year warranty on battery.
  • Start Key to turn on and off the electric system just by a toggle.
  • Energy Regeneration System which charges the battery while you are pedaling. Accelerator and Cruise Control System which are functional only in battery mode.
  • And other features such as headlight, tail lamp, digital display, disc brake and pedaling assist.

The motor specifications and torque rating are not yet revealed by the company. Though the company mentioned warranty as 2 years for the motor.

The bike can be pre-ordered at FUEL-A-DREAM