Auto Expo 2018: Emflux e-superbike revealed

Emflux Motors is the brainchild of extremely passionate young people who were wanting to do awesome stuff for the future of the human race based on a shared vision – Electric Vehicles in this case – well, at least for a start. Emflux aims to build beautiful, desirable, and meaningful products and services with zero compromise on quality and the vision these products are based on, and the very first culmination of all of these factors has been willed into solid reality in the avatar of the EMFLUX ONE – a fully faired superbike that packs enough tech and mech to go neck to neck in performance with 700cc plus motorcycles. It’s journey from vision, to a concept, to prototype has been riddled with challenges at every turn, but the passionate Emflux team overcame every single one of them to successfully build their first prototype. It was a journey that spanned a little over 500 days, and countless sleepless nights. And finally, it’s here for the world to see.

The Emflux team consists of 25 young engineers, designers, and others from various fields, most of them fresh out of college, and it was founded at the core by the confluence of a common vision shared by three guys from very different backgrounds – Varun Mittal, Ankit Khatry, and Vinay Raj Somashekar. Every good company starts with a very personal journey – here are theirs.

Ankit Khatry graduated with a BCA in Computer Applications from Bangalore University, after which he went on to complete his MBA. He was Varun’s friend and teammate during their days at Jugnoo. With a keen eye for business management and expansion, he’s helped launch Jugnoo in 12 cities all across India working as Venture Launch Manager. However, his passion was something else – Motorcycles. Being an avid motorcyclist, he’s ridden his bike across the Himachal when his parents were thinking he was relaxing on a beach somewhere in Goa. It was his passion for motorcycles that put him on the same plane of thought as his would-be Emflux co-founder, Varun.

Vinay Raj Somashekar, in parallel, was designing motorcycles for TVS. Coincidentally, he too met with a severe motorcycle accident that shattered his left arm in four places. But that did not dull his love for motorcycles and cars. He left TVS to pursue his dream of designing electric vehicles for the future – a dream he’s had since his Mechanical Engineering days. After graduating in 2008, he studied Industrial Design in SPD, Milan, and Transportation Design in DSK ISD, Pune, and went on to win first prize at the national level for his Electric Scooter design at the SIAM Automotive Design Challenge in 2014. This accolade landed him a job in the TVS Design Studio. After he left TVs, however, is when the fun really began.

A common friend introduced Vinay to Varun and Ankit, and the trio quickly learned that they wanted to do the same thing. And thus began an exhaustive hiring process to find the best potential talent in various fields – Electronics, Electrical, Mechanical Engineering, and Design. The collective team quickly grew to 25, and with all of them working like units of a well-oiled machine, the prototype went from inception to completion in less than a year and a half.

It all starts with the design. The first contact that the world has with any product is the way it looks to your eyes, followed by the way it feels in your hands. The Emflux ONE was designed to have the proportions and aggression of a superbike coupled with the calm and quiet of an electric vehicle. The idea was to have big, clean, and beautifully flowing surfaces guided by sharp purposeful lines, combined with a confident stance, strong proportions, and a sculpted overall volume. Electric technology is clean and beautiful – and the design must be an embodiment of that emotion. All the design panels were meticulously hand-crafted with fiberglass. But design is not only about the external parts, and it is not only about looking good – it’s also about what goes inside and how it works. In this regard, the design team worked in tandem with the Mechanical Engineers to create a product that functions as beautifully as it looks. Barring the brakes, tires and the suspension, every single component of the motorcycle has been designed and engineered in-house.

The mechanical systems were based on the design requirements. After many iterations of design and conformability, a concept was created that could work well both in form and function. The trellis frame was engineered to keep the design simple and effective, and to keep the weight down while also providing optimum rigidity for improved handling and riding dynamics. It was also designed to house the 9.7 kWh battery pack which is the single biggest and heaviest component on the motorcycle. The trellis single sided swing-arm, the first of its kind in India came with its own set of challenges, and it too was designed for minimum weight and maximum strength. The 60 kW motor, coupled with the single speed reduction gearbox, have also been packaged for mass centralization. All of these components come together seamlessly to give you a package that’s not only robust but beautiful. But of course, this motorcycle wouldn’t be complete without the very things that turn the wheel – the Electrical and Electronic Components.

The electric drivetrain components available in the market were nowhere near as powerful or inter-compatible as the ones that would be needed to run this motorcycle, so the engineers at Emflux decided to develop all the components in-house. It was important that all the electronic components work together as one cohesive unit. The drivetrain includes the battery pack, the BMS, an onboard charger, the motor controller, and the motor which is run by a powerful master controller capable of running powerful neural networks. Everything is controlled digitally to improve performance and convenience via over-the-air updates. These are some of the most power-dense circuits in the industry. For example, the motor controller which weighs only 2 kilos including the casing and heat sink can still deliver 60 kW of power. The charging stations christened WARP Charger will be installed on highways and other strategic points once the law allowing resale of electricity is changed.

Team Emflux has had an incredible journey so far. This journey was made possible by investments from people who believed in their potential and ability to successfully pull off a project of such complexity. One such investor, Nikhil Arora, had this to say – “Team Emflux have pulled off something quite exceptional. I have seen Varun, Ankit, and Vinay’s incredible perseverance to plan and execute Emflux One from scratch. They have created a high-performance and truly gorgeous machine blending the best of cleantech and design. Most importantly, all critical elements are made in-house and in India. Electric is the future and I’m confident Emflux is very well positioned to gain from this inflection point. Can’t wait to get my hands on it!” said Nikhil Arora, Founder CEO of Millennial-focused media platform Transfin., as well as investor and member of Emflux Motors’ Board. Nikhil regularly provides inputs on Emflux’s investment and strategic initiatives by leveraging Transfer’s close understanding of India’s financial and EV policy ecosystem.

Another investor, Meher Roy,  who has participated in all of Emflux’s funding rounds commented: “I admire the Emflux team for their self-belief and the ability to risk it all on the conviction that they have a great product. In the past two years, I’ve seen the company grow from a two-man concept to a collection of strewn components, to a beautiful but theoretical design, to a working but a visually unappealing prototype and finally to India’s first beautiful performant electric sports bike. Witnessing this journey gives me faith that this company will change the future of the Indian transportation industry.”

Recently the company raised funding from angel investors like Narendra Sujan, Director of Sujan Group; Samar Singla, co-founder of Click-labs and Jugnoo and Fabian Brian Crain, co-founder of Chorus One and Epicenter. Existing investor Meher Roy also participated in the round.

Emflux aims to help other companies develop their EV solutions by leveraging the patentable technologies they developed for Emflux ONE. They can develop the electric drivetrain including the battery, BMS, charger, motor controller and the motor for 2 as well as 4 wheelers. Emflux will generate revenue by selling premium performance bikes and also by licensing their technology to OEM companies as well as developing customized solutions for others. Emflux plans to produce just 199 units of the Emflux ONE for the Indian market and another 300 for the export. The standard version of the Emflux ONE is priced at 6Lakh (~USD 9350) on road and with the three performance upgrades of Ohlins suspension, forged alloy wheels and ultralight carbon fiber panels, the price will be 11Lakh (~USD 17150) on road.