Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Electric Royal Enfield: World's first Eco-friendly Bullet

An Enfield owner has been called many names, but never eco-friendly. With respect to other motorcycles having similar engine capacity, they might be fuel efficient, but in India, where the majority of the population is driven by highly economic motorcycles, a Royal Enfield Bullet is considered a fuel guzzling demon. But this electric Royal Enfield Bullet will completely change your perception.

electric royal enfield bullet

This neat and one of a kind creation is the epitome of Eco-friendliness and runs quieter than a cat's purr.
This electric motorcycle was built using a 2005 Royal Enfield Bullet 500. The original 500cc engine and transmission was completely discarded and replaced with 11 Nissan Leaf batteries and an electric motor in order to power the bike.

The builder after coming up with the concept, worked tediously to understand the mechanism and architecture required to successfully shape such a creation. He worked for several months on a test bench and finally implemented the same on his RE. In this video you can see the different components present in the world's first electric Royal Enfield.

During assembly, all the 11 Nissan Leaf batteries were stacked in six over five fashion, and rested on a customized aluminum frame. The replacement of the 500cc internal combustion engine, i.e. the electric motor is mounted with four bolts, and placed at the position of the removed transmission, with a 13 tooth front sprocket and 52-tooth rear sprocket.

To record all the vital data regarding battery performance, a data logger with SD card is kept in the left toolbox of the electric Bullet 500, while the cycle analyst that sits on the handlebar provides real time feedback, like speed, amount of power used, etc. The left pannier also houses an onboard charger integrated with a DC-DC converter.

The bike fabricator is still working to refine the design of the bike and add additional components, the likes of chain guard and better weather protection for the battery terminals. After providing a brief overview of the motorcycle, he even showed us what it felt like to ride an eco-friendly Royal Enfield.

From the test ride video, it was evident from the very start that the charismatic and signature Royal Enfield thump was missing. You couldn't even realize whether the electric RE was being pushed or running. Yes, it is that silent. All you can hear is the gentle rumbling of the chain sprockets. Also another surprising aspect of this electric Royal Enfield Bullet was it's enhanced performance. It had faster acceleration than its original counterpart and easily clocked speeds in excess of 100-110kmph (60mph), without any signs of danger. I personally feel, this increase in performance is mainly due to all the weight it has shed. 
Even though this eco-friendly version of the Enfield is the best contender for the upcoming future, but the question is, would the masses embrace this silent and timid creature? What say you?