One fine day, 30-year-old Kapil Shelke’s college project blew up. His atypical idea received funding from none other than the founders of taxi giant Ola. The funding raised help him create the nation’s first e-motorcycle Tork.
As a child, Kapil had a penchant for collecting toy cars. When most youngsters his age were analysing the choice of their career, he quit his engineering college to start his entrepreneurial journey. In 2009, he along with his three classmates entered the world’s most prestigious motorcycle races- The Isle Of Man TT. Pitted against larger international teams, Tork emerged victorious and bagged the third position. Watch the video below to get some insight into India’s answer to Tesla.
Great feedback pushed Kapil to venture into the commercial sector. “I had thought that someone else would do this and I would buy that bike, but nobody had built an affordable electric motorcycle. In three days, I met with over two dozen dealers. I was looking at 500 to 1,000 motorcycles a year. I found that people really wanted a product like this.”
An avid biker himself, he realised on his long tours that the bikes kept failing constantly and the service stations weren’t good enough. “I quickly realised that if we fit an electric engine in a motorcycle, most of these problems will disappear. It will be a smooth ride, no vibration, pollution and you won’t even have to shift gears.” Electric vehicles are certainly the future. From their running costs to environmental benefits, the advantages are plenty. Getting buyers to change their mindset towards buying one is easier said than done, but Kapil is not ready to give up. “A lot of people told us it couldn’t be done- an electric bike in India. We want to prove everyone wrong.”