Electric Himalayan and more! Royal Enfield’s electric plans revealed

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Royal Enfield used their platform at last week’s international show in Milan to offer audience members and online onlookers a glimpse into the future of the company – pulling the covers off an all-electric Himalayan concept. Still far from production ready and inspired by more sustainable approaches to Himalayan mountain exploration, the aptly named Electric Himalayan Testbed uses an in-house designed battery box that doubles as a stressed member.

“This motorcycle is just a part of a much bigger sustainable ecosystem of exploration and adventure that we are working on in the Himalayas,” Royal Enfield CEO B Govindarajan told MCN. “From green charging pit-stops to our responsible travel initiative, from creating self-sustaining communities, to collaboration with UNESCO to preserve the intangible cultural heritage of the Himalayan region, there are a lot of initiatives we are passionately driving.”

Electric Himalayan

Back to the bike, the concept features plant-based ‘flax fibre’ composite bodywork, plus a hand-crafted swingarm courtesy of UK-based Harris Performance. It’s the first design of its kind from the brand, with Head of Product Strategy for Advanced Programs, Matt Cardenas, telling MCN that we can expect to see more models coming soon, as well as hinting at production machines arriving by the middle of 2025.

“[Expect] multiple platforms across every style. We’re not ignoring anything today,” Cardenas said. “This is just one example because it’s so crucial to the entire Himalayan experience for us, and that’s why we wanted to show it.”

Exploring alternatives to petrol power alongside his team of engineers, he added: “The reason we call it a Testbed is because when the technology is ready, when the prices are right, and it brings value to a rider, that is when we will be able to transition.”

He went on to say that this pricing is crucial for the brand, with all of their petrol range sitting well below five figures. He added: “Where we are today, to do that in an EV platform is really expensive… To covert to EV, we [would] have to quadruple prices.”

Arriving just a few days after the details on the second generation production Himalayan were made it follows a €50 million investment in Spanish plug-in off-road firm Stark Future SL by Enfield’s parent company Eicher Motors Ltd back in January of this year.

“For us, this is our vision and a glimpse of what to expect from us in the future,” Chief Growth Officer for EVs, Mario Alvisi said. “There is a much larger electric mobility blueprint that is being brought alive at Royal Enfield.”

Although the firm are only now producing their first liquid-cooled petrol motorcycle in 122 years with the 2024 second-gen Himalayan, Enfield’s Chief of Design Mark Wells confirmed that a second, more refined electric test model was already in use.

“If you went back 10 years, Royal Enfield was known for making air-cooled singles. Look how far we’ve come, it’s mind-blowing,” he said. “What are the bits that you want to take forward? This represents some of that. The Himalayas are part of who we are.”

Alongside electrification, Cardenas also hinted at other alternative fuel sources being investigated. He said: “We’re looking for what the trajectory will be, where it will be the best value for the customer, and it could be e-fuels absolutely. We don’t know, we’re experimenting with everything. This is where we’ve had the most success so far.”

Royal Enfield’s adventure bike of the future revealed

Originally published 07 November 2023, by Curtis Moldrich

You’re looking at the first ever electric bike from Royal Enfield in its 122-year history. Revealed at the Eicma show in Milan earlier today, the Electric Himalayan Testbed – as it sounds – uses the existing Himalayan adventure bike as a testbed for an all-electric powertrain. Although it’s just a concept for now, senior Royal Enfield executives are keen to emphasise it points to the future of the brand. 

The bike you see here is more of a laboratory than a concept, and originally started out as a technology and capability exercise. With that in mind, much of its construction comes from rapid prototyping and iterative design tweaks:

Royal Enfield Electric Himalayan - wheelie on rocky terrain

“The Electric Himalayan Testbed is much more than a design concept,’ said Royal Enfield’s chief growth officer Mario Alvisi. “There is a much larger electric mobility blueprint that is being brought alive at Royal Enfield as we continue to work on multiple ‘electrifying’ expressions of pure motorcycling.” 

The Testbed’s objectives are not just technical ,but also focused on improving the experience of the adventuring rider: “More than building a motorcycle for regulations or directive,’ added Alivisi, “We saw this as an opportunity to create something unique and to inspire future generations. What began as a capability exercise for our teams, is now this electric adventure motorcycle we are very proud of; a new expression of our love for adventure and the mountains.”

It may look like the Himalayan on the outside, but the Electric Himalayan Testbed has been subject to an entire rethink: every touchpoint has been rethought, new materials like Organic Flax Fibre have been used and Royal Enfield have also had to engineer a battery box in-house.

Wind tunnel testing has also been deployed throughout the bike’s development to squeeze even more range out of its new EV powertrain.

We’ll update this article when we know more. 

Curtis Moldrich

By Curtis Moldrich