Jawa Electric bike expected in 2022: What it could look like

Either a Jawa electric bike or a Yezdi electric bike in India is likely to be launched in 2022, going by what India’s top auto media houses reported last month. While any related official announcement is far away, we’ve gone ahead, with expert assistance from automotive designer Sreejith Krishnan, and rendered a Jawa electric bike to show you what to expect.

As the resurrection of Jawa and the company’s business model highly revolves around the heritage of the iconic brand, the design language of the upcoming Jawa electric should be more or less the same as the present-day Jawa motorcycle. However, one can expect to see modern touches like an all-LED headlamp and a more informative instrument cluster for better convenience. Being an all-electric model, as hinted in our rendering, the electric motorcycle might get a large battery pack enclosed in a case just below the ‘fuel tank’ that in fact houses the charging lid and electrical components.

Jawa electric bike rendering front three quarters
The Jawa electric bike in the rendering is based on the Jawa (classic).

The electric hub motor, on the other hand, should translate to a lower cost and lesser mechanical and power losses, if Classic Legends does not consider a frame-mounted unit. On the subject of range, we expect quite a large battery on the Jawa electric bike to make long distance travel possible. There is a limitation today on the range that a battery designed for an electric bike can provide (by 2022 expect further advancements leading to a higher range for the same cost and battery size), but given that Jawa owners expect their ride to serve them both in the city and on weekend getaways, there cannot be a big compromise here.

Most likely to be built on the same platform as the existing ICE-powered Jawa, the EV in most certainty will borrow the majority of the cycle parts including brakes, suspension and tyres from its petrol counterpart. As our rendering suggests, taking the standard Jawa into reference, the handlebar and the position of footpegs remains unchanged and hence, the EV version too will offer a comfortable and upright riding position.

Jawa Electric Bike render rear angle

Background

On July 13, 2020, Autocar India had reported that a Jawa electric motorcycle is in the making. According to a CarAndBike.com report released on July 15, 2020, suggested that wasn’t the case. This report said that it is, in fact, a Yezdi electric motorcycle that is in the pipeline. This electric bike will mark the revival of the popular classic motorcycle brand.

Classic Legends, in which Mahindra & Mahindra has a controlling stake (60%), sells Jawa motorcycles in India under a license agreement with the Czech Republic’s Jawa Moto. Like Mahindra & Mahindra, Rustomjee Group owns a stake in Classic Legends and it holds the ownership of the homegrown Yezdi brand. Yezdi bikes were developed using the classic Jawa motorcycles and were popular in the 1970s and 80s.

Yezdi Roadking, image from Vishal Agaral
Yezdi Roadking (Image by Vishal Agarwal)

CarAndBike.com claims that the first new-age Yezdi model in India will be an electric motorcycle. Mahindra & Mahindra, which has a vast experience in EVs, is not managing the project, but some inputs from Mahindra Electric are expected to come during the bike’s development cycle. Most of the components of the Yezdi electric motorcycle will be manufactured in India, but some critical parts like the battery were likely to be imported from China. More recently, that decision changed, and localization of the battery being worked upon, which could result in a slight delay in the project.

AutocarIndia says the electric motorcycle is from Jawa

The rebirth of the Jawa brand in 2018 was a successful one, and by combining old-school styling with a modern powertrain, an alternative with brand heritage to a Royal Enfield Classic was finally born. Jawa plans to continue this theme for the future with an electric motorcycle. According to a report from AutocarIndia.com, Jawa is developing an electric motorcycle. Although we have little information, Autocar has confirmed a couple of things about the electric vehicle.

First, the electric vehicle will be designed and developed inhouse by Classic Legends, the company which owns the Jawa brand name. This comes as a bit of irony as Mahindra owns the majority of stake in Jawa. Mahindra also has vast expertise in the field of electrical powertrains given its participation in Formula-E racing series and their range of road-going EVs such as the e20, eVerito and the upcoming XUV300 EV and eKUV100. We are waiting for details regarding specifics of the project.

Second, the electric vehicle will be locally manufactured with the majority of its parts sourced from India. This brings down costs significantly and would help them price the vehicle at a competitive level. However, parts like the battery cell and the battery management system would still have to be imported, reckons Autocar India, and either way, the price of the battery (the single most expensive component of an electric vehicle) is set to drop further in the next couple of years which would work in favour of deriving an aggressive price.

Jawa motorcycle
The Jawa Motorcycle brand was reborn in 2018. Royal Enfield is working an electric motorcycle and Jawa would have caught wind of the new model map at the rival camp. Image from the 18th International Jawa Day celebration

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The electric motorcycle space will get increasingly competitive this decade. With legendary motorcycle brands like Harley-Davidson, known for their V-twin engines instituting its electric lineup with the Harley-Davidson Livewire, its a wakeup call for other manufacturers to stop providing excuses and offer something new in the market. With this electric Jawa, the company aims to stick to its roots of retro styling with a futuristic electric powertrain, a recipe which so far has brought them good results. Nevertheless, this appeal was let down by slow production rates and extended waiting periods before customers could take delivery.

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Autocar speculates we might only get to look at this motorcycle sometime in 2021 and the production variant might take an even longer time. We reckon Jawa could bring out the electric motorcycle sometime in 2022, beating Royal Enfield.