TVS Motor-funded start-up readies 250cc challenger e-motorcycle

by Nilesh Wadhwa 13 Aug 2018

Chennai-based TVS Motor Co is betting big on the Bangalore-based electric two-wheeler and energy infrastructure start-up Ultraviolette Automotive. The company has invested an additional Rs 6 crore as part of the Series A funding, which will be utilised for continued product engineering and R&D.

In December 2017, Autocar Professional had first broken the news about TVS Motor picking up a 14.78 percent stake in the start-up, just a day after the company launched its premium racing motorcycle, the RR 310.

TVS Motor Co says Ultraviolette Automotive is engaged in developing top-of-the-line electric mobility solutions. The company is currently building an electric motorcycle that is driven by progressive design and energy efficient technology that will outperform traditional ICE motorcycles in the 200-250cc segment. The additional investment will be deployed for continued product engineering and further expansion of Ultraviolette Automotive’s core R&D team and facility.

K Gopaladesikan, CFO, TVS Motor Company, said, “At TVS Motor Company, we are committed to creating offerings with best-in-class quality, cutting-edge technology and that delights the customer. As a responsible manufacturer, we see immense promise in Ultraviolette Automotive’s vision of bringing innovative and sustainable electric vehicles in India. Ultraviolette Automotive has made significant progress in their product engineering in a short span of time and we are confident that they will build a product that will pave the way for electric mobility in the country.”

Commenting on the investment, Narayan Subramaniam, founder and CEO, Ultraviolette Automotive said, “This investment is a validation of TVS Motor Company’s faith in our product and the progress we have made so far with our motorcycle. We are building a high-performance, electric motorcycle that brings together the best of technology and design to deliver an unmatched user experience. The motorcycle will be enabled with smart features such as on-board diagnostics, preventive maintenance, over-the-air upgrades and ride customisation. We believe that TVS Motor Company’s continued support will go a long way in realising our goal of delivering a superior electric vehicle in India.”

Niraj Rajmohan, founder and CTO, Ultraviolette Automotive, said, “We see great long-term synergy in our partnership with TVS Motor Company, considering the rich heritage and decades of industry experience they bring, and the innovations in design and technology at Ultraviolette Automotive. With this investment, we are looking to ramp up the development of high-end electric powertrains, battery modules and connected technology.”

Electric bike launch by end-2019
Speaking to Autocar Professional, both Narayan Subramaniam and Niraj Rajmohan have confirmed that the company has reached a good stage of the product development and they expect the first electric-bike to be out by end-CY2019.

While the founders of Ultraviolette did not give out the technical specifications, they confirmed that the first product from the company’s stable will compete with the traditional ICE motorcycles in the 200-250cc segment.

The company is not just looking to roll out the electric bike but also plans to set up energy infrastructure simultaneously to facilitate and support EV momentum. “We are looking at finalising the technical specifications, including the charging specs and suppliers. The government has made good progress in defining the Bharat charging standards and we are working around it,” they said.

Ultraviolette Automotive, which had a lean 13-member team, has now expanded to 45, with most having experience in terms of new product development. The new team members have been roped in from diverse fields including aerospace, automotive and consumer electronics.

According to the company, everything is being done in-house when it comes to powertrain and BMS (battery management system), and they are looking at options to source the battery raw material. When asked about the synergies between Ultraviolette and TVS Motor, the founders did not discuss the details but have said, “We are happy to have TVS Motor on board, and this association is for the long-term.”

Image courtesy: Ultraviolette Automotive

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