Kaynes Technology, a major player in India’s electronics manufacturing services, is a strategic investor in Raptee. They are also contracted to manufacture specific components for Raptee
Unlike all the electric two-wheelers being sold in India currently, Raptee’s first electric high-speed electric two-wheeler (E2W) motorcycle will be a high voltage one. Dinesh Arjun, Co-founder & CEO of Raptee Energy, in a conversation with Electronics For You, said, “We will target the 250cc category of motorcycles in India with our first product. It will be priced somewhere close to ₹250,000.”
The biggest USP of this motorcycle, and most other Raptee products, as Arjun explained, would be their capability to get charged at combined charging system (CCS) standard electric vehicle chargers. Currently, only electric cars available in India can do so. “This will ensure that Raptee products can leverage existing fast chargers in the country. We will be the only ones to do long highway travels on our motorcycles because of these chargers,” he says.
Arjun adds, “Most of the E2Ws available in India are based on drivetrains that support 36 to 96V DC, whereas our first motorcycle is based on 246V DC. This simply means that we will be able to charge it at any fast charger deployed out there.” Further, the startup says it has designed and developed the majority of components in-house for its two-wheelers. Barring cells, it has ‘control’ over everything else that is going into motorcycles they are building. Kaynes Technology, one of India’s most prominent contract electronics manufacturing services providers, is a strategic investor in Raptee and is also contract manufacturing certain components for the same.
Raptee says it is also creating a database of all the motorcycles it plans to deploy on the road. This data, powered by AI and ML, will be used to ‘not repeat’ mistakes a particular model is making in other variants. Sensors fitted on the motorcycles not only collect data at the vehicle but also at the component level. Arjun terms the practice as creating “hives of Raptee motorcycles.”
He adds, “We are testing dynamic deployment of algorithms. This simply means that we are trying to update motorcycles according to the temperature and other conditions they are deployed in.” For the record, Raptee was once a partner to electric bus OEMs. However, it now wants to concentrate on being an OEM. Arjun highlighted that Raptee will never supply to a direct competitor!
The startup chose high voltage drivetrains because it feels the same is necessary to help India and Indians transition from ICE (internal combustion engine) to EV (electric vehicle). According to Arjun, a lot of E2Ws available in India today cannot do steep slopes without the motor getting overheated. A high voltage drivetrain, he highlights, can do the same better than an ICE vehicle without getting the motor heated.
“You cannot request a Toyota Innova owner to switch to a 1000cc CNG (compressed natural gas) powered car by telling him that it is good for his pocket as well as for the environment. You will have to give him something equivalent to that Innova experience,” he says.
Cost is not a challenge for Raptee because of the indigenisation and vertical integration it has been able to achieve so far. Arjun adds that as most of the 250cc machines in India are available in the price range upwards of ₹200,000, Raptee’s first electric motorcycle will be positioned in the same category. The startup will start retailing the same next year in Bengaluru and Chennai. It is targeting to open six experience centres in six cities before the end of the next year, each owned and operated by itself.
In 2025, the startup plans to introduce its second offering, targeted towards the 150cc motorcycle market, and aims to open at least 50 centres via the dealership route. Arjun says Raptee chose its first product as an electric motorcycle because motorcycles are the biggest medium of transport and people movement in India. According to him, most of the players in the competition will not transition to high voltage powertrains because the ecosystem of components is already established for them, and doing the same will require them to start from scratch.
Raptee’s first product will feature a battery close to 6kW, which will promise an IDC (Indian driving cycle) range of 220km and a real-world range of close to 160km. It has so far raised ₹370 million from Director of Shankara Building Products, Eugene Mayne, Founder and CEO of Tristar Global (UAE), Lakshmi Narayanan, Former CEO of Cognizant, Ramesh Kannan, MD of Kaynes Technology, Chandu Nair, and other HNIs (high net worth individuals) from India and the UAE.