India-based Eicher Motors has paid €50 million for a 10.35 percent equity stake in Stark Future, the Spanish electric motorcycle manufacturer. Stark rose to fame a year ago with the reveal of the Varg prototype motocrosser. Although the estimated September 2022 delivery date of the first production Varg motorcycles has been pushed back to August 2023, Stark remains a viable concern. Eicher Motors owns Royal Enfield, and is in a joint venture with Volvo to produce commercial vehicles in India. The Stark Future Board will have a Director nominated by Eicher Motors.
Eicher Motors Managing Director Siddhartha Lal explains his company’s decision to invest in Stark: “We love the vision, passion, and focus of the amazing team at Stark Future. Leisure motorcycles do not easily lend themselves to EV technology at this stage due to challenges like the battery range, packaging, weight, and cost. This has resulted in stunted growth of this segment till now. Stark Future has been able to understand and harness the potential of EV technology by dramatically outperforming ICE offerings without compromising on range, weight, packaging, and cost. They have created an absolutely astounding motocross motorcycle, the Stark Varg, as their entry into the EV world. We believe that Stark Future has the highest potential for real breakout growth in the EV leisure space with this model, and the potential to use this strong base to extend into other contiguous segments and beyond.”
Royal Enfield CEO B. Govindarajan had this to say about the Eicher investment in Stark: “We are very excited to closely collaborate with Stark Future, who are as focused as we are on challenging norms, pushing the boundaries, and building uniquely differentiated offerings for riders. In addition to the sheer potential of Stark Future, we see immense synergies in this partnership. While they are scaling up and planning their market entry soon, we will support Stark in the industrialization process. While they are thought leaders in EV technology, particularly in lightweight components and innovative solutions, we at Royal Enfield will draw on these capabilities for developing our EV platforms and will also plan to share some EV platforms in the future.”
Certainly, the infusion of €50 million into Stark Future will help ensure the eventual delivery of the highly anticipated Varg motocrosser.
“With the Stark Varg, we believe we have a launch model that will reset benchmarks,” Stark Future Founder and CEO Anton Wass says. “So to know that the bike’s technical basis will spread much further and filter into more machinery and products is another source of pride for us. It has been a short, intense, and incredible journey for us so far, but our link with Royal Enfield and what lies in store in the coming years are brilliant signs for the future.”
Royal Enfield has been working on electric-powered motorcycles and is looking to get assistance from Stark Future, which has created patented technologies on the way to developing the Varg. According to a Stark Future insider, “This investment will pave the way for a long-term partnership in collaborative research and development in electric motorcycles, technology sharing, technical licensing, and manufacturing.”