The startup owned by Hero MotoCorp asserts that its unique S32 model can transform from a three-wheeler to a two-wheeler in merely 3 minutes.
Amidst the buzz of the recently concluded Hero World 2024, where the spotlight was majorly on the eagerly anticipated Mavrick 440 and the dynamic Xtreme 125R motorcycles, there were several other notable attractions. Among these, the Surge S32 stood out as particularly intriguing.
Surge, a fully-owned subsidiary of Hero MotoCorp operating under the umbrella of HeroHatch, the company’s incubation centre, has been devoted to developing a modular EV platform, the S32. This platform is distinctive for its ability to switch swiftly and efficiently between two- and three-wheeler configurations. The design essentially integrates a rickshaw minus its front wheel with an e-scooter, which slots in and serves as the front wheel. In this setup, the e-scooter’s rear wheel is elevated off the ground, resting on the rickshaw base.
The e-scooter component is also designed to be detachable for independent use. Surge asserts that this transformation process can be completed in a mere 3 minutes. Both the rickshaw and e-scooter are equipped with their own powertrains and battery packs but share a common control system. When connected, the scooter’s handlebar controls also manage the rickshaw’s powertrain and braking system. This innovative design has led to the creation of a new vehicle category.
Surge and Hero MotoCorp’s groundbreaking concept required collaboration with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) to establish a new registration category for the S32. This category, named ‘L2 -5’, is described as a “2-Wheeler-3-Wheeler Combi Module”, where a two-wheeled vehicle is combined with a non-self-propelled rear module, allowing for separation or combination as needed.
Surge plans to release the S32 in various models, differing mainly in the design of the rickshaw segment, ranging from passenger to various cargo-carrying versions, both covered and uncovered. The power output and battery capacity will also vary depending on the model, with the scooter peaking at 6kW and the rickshaw at 10kW, and their top speeds at 60kph and 45kph, respectively.
The S32 uses removable batteries from Hero’s Vida e-scooter line, with capacity for two packs in the scooter and four to six in the rickshaw, leading to capacities of 3.87kWh for the scooter and up to 11.62kWh for the rickshaw.
Originally showcased as the Quark 1 concept in 2020, this vehicle has evolved significantly over four years. Surge is now approaching a production-ready stage and anticipates an official launch of the S32 within the year.