Niraj Rajmohan (left), co-founder and CTO, and Narayan Subramaniam, co-founder and CEO, Ultraviolette
Image: Selvaprakash Lakshmanan for Forbes India
Narayan Subramaniam and Niraj Rajmohan made some hard choices earlier on at Ultraviolette, shaped by their vision for what’s today the F77, their first performance electric motorcycle that’s caught the attention of enthusiasts young and old around the world.
In any EV (electric vehicle), it boils down to the performance of the battery, and the work that’s gone into the F77’s battery puts Ultraviolette in the deep tech category, and within that, among the very few ventures that are on the cusp of breaking into global markets, taking on much bigger, established OEMs.
Among Ultraviolette’s investors is Exor, the largest single owner of Stellantis, the world’s fourth biggest automaker—validation of the quality of the F77. Among the first customers of a limited edition—no prizes for guessing there were only 77 of those, all sold out—was popular Malayalam film star Dulquer Salmaan.
This year Ultraviolette’s founders are looking to expand beyond Bengaluru, their headquarters, to touch 12 cities in India.
“And yes, there will be a hangar in each of these cities,” Subramaniam says. He and Rajmohan are deeply influenced by aerospace and aviation—in large part because of their own prior experience in that industry, and everything about the F77 is inspired by flight, they insist—from design to branding. Therefore, showrooms are called hangars.Also read: Yulu Bikes: Simplifying mobility one component at a time
Next year, they plan to hit Europe, the US and Latin America. “Organically till date, we have booking interests from about 190 countries. And of course, while that might not be practical for us to promise deliveries in 190 countries, the few that we mentioned are the ones we’re actively looking at in starting out in 2024.
The F77 is offered in two main variants, Original and Recon, and three emotions—Airstrike, Shadow and Laser. The variants differ in the capacity and performance offered by the batteries, mostly. The Recon has the bigger battery and can go faster. They all can go from zero to 60 kmph in about three seconds.
More recently Ultraviolette has also offered Space, a limited edition, as a tribute to Chandrayaan 3’s success, which is a shade faster than the Recon.
The F77 is built for international standards from the get go. And if one looks at the petrol burning competitors, there is an existing category of ICE bikes that ranges from 200 CC to 600 CC equivalents. That’s a large market outside India. Subramaniam and Rajmohan’s dream is to sell enough of these bikes so that Ultraviolette riders will collectively displace a billion litres of petrol by 2027.