Hero Motocorp is secretly working on a new electric bike called the Hero e.US, as per a report that emerged in September on moneycontrol.com. The new Hero electric bike has inputs coming mainly from the company’s German R&D centre, Hero Tech Center Germany GmbH that was set up in January 2019.
Hero Motocorp has secured the trademark ‘Hero XTEC’ which it intends to use on vehicles. The media has not stopped speculating that the Hero XTEC could be the commercial name of its first electric motorcycle. Unless a settlement between the family members of the Munjal family is reached allowing the Hero brand to be used on electric vehicles from Pawan Munjal’s company, it is not a possibility.
According to a pact in the Munjal family, Naveen Munjal’s company Hero Electric cannot sell petrol two-wheelers and Dr. Pawan Munjal’s Hero MotoCorp cannot market an electric two-wheeler as a ‘Hero’ product.
The word ‘e.US’ in the Hero e.US’ name is short for ‘Electric Ultra Sport’. The name indicates a performance electric bike, and so does the fact that the Munich R&D centre is working along with the Jaipur facility on the product. The report says that the Hero e.US is a “high-powered concept motorcycle”.
Addressing shareholders at Hero MotoCorp’s 67th Annual General Meeting in August, Dr. Pawan Munjal, the Chairman of the company, said that Hero Tech Center Germany (Stephanskirchen, Germany) and Hero Global Centre of Innovation and Technology (Jaipur, India) are working together on electric products. The German R&D centre, located at about 60 km south of Munich, is assisting the Indian unit with affordable electrified drivetrains as well. Dr. Munjal confirmed earlier this year that Hero Motocorp would bring electric scooter and electric motorcycle models to the market.
There’s no word on the unveiling of the Hero e.US concept. A company source has told the business publication that the EV plan is progressing well and that the company will select the brand name of the electric bike closer to the launch. Hero Motocorp could select a global platform like an EICMA or INTERMOT to unveil its electric motorcycle. In past editions of the European show, India’s largest two-wheeler company presented design concepts and production bikes that were first launched overseas.
Earlier this year, Hero MotoCorp confirmed that its first electric vehicle, an electric scooter based on the Hero Maestro, will reach showrooms next year. Meanwhile, Hero Electric is working on bringing an electric bike to its showrooms – the Hero AE-47. The company showcased the bike at the Auto Expo 2020 and will likely launch it in the second half of 2021. Hero Electric said that the name of the electric bike would change at the time of market launch, but the product would look the same.
Pictured is the Hero XPulse concept bike from EICMA 2018