In an exclusive interview, Nathan Siy, the CEO and founder of Evoke, answers our questions about his plans for this new and intriguing electric motorcycle startup.
Evoke Motorcycles appeared out of nowhere over the past couple of years. Founded by a group of European and American expatriates living in Beijing and led by Canadian-born Nathan Siy, the firm released its first electric motorcycle, the Urban S, at the end of 2015. Powered by a 19kW motor with 86 lb-ft of torque, the Urban S has a 81 mph top speed (130 km/h). Its lithium battery has a 9 kWh capacity.
We were eager to find out more about Evoke Motorcycles, and Nathan agreed to a phone interview:
First of all, give us a little overview of what Evoke has accomplished over the past year.
– 2016 was a great year for us. We produced about 120 bikes, most of them delivered to customers, some send to various importers and distributors for evaluation. We also put a lot of time and efforts in R&D, working on improving the Urban S and developing new models.
What is new on the Evoke S for 2017?
– The main improvement on the bike is a new battery: we switched to Samsung SDI cells, and thus improved the range of the Evoke S to 124 miles (200 km) in the city and 74 miles (120 km) on the highway.
Can you tell us about your production objectives for 2017?
– Actually, there are also big production changes coming. So far we have produced all the bikes in our factory, but starting in February, we will out-source the production to Foxconn (the manufacturer of the iPhone). The Evoke S will be produced in their Beijing factory.
That is quite an interesting development… So what production level do you plan for 2017?
– Our objective is 2,000 bikes in 2017.
You would become one of the largest electric motorcycle producer in the world! Where will you sell them, can you tell us about your distribution channels?
– First we have our domestic market in China. We are expanding our distribution from Beijing and Shanghai to several other very large cities. And over the past year, we have worked very hard to develop distribution agreements in Europe and in North and South America. In Europe, for example, we now have distributors in the UK, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Finland, Poland, Sweden, and Hungary. By the end of 2017, we expect to be selling 25% of our bikes in Europe. We already have a distributor in Canada, and we are talking to individual dealers in the USA.
What will be the price of the Evoke S in Europe?
– Around €8,500.
You mentioned that you are also working on new models. Can you tell us more?
– Absolutely. We will add two new models in 2017. In the second quarter, we will introduce the Kruzer, a cruiser-style bike powered by a 30 kW motor with 100+ lbs/ft of torque and capable of 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than 5 seconds. It will have a 10 kWh battery. Then in the third quarter, we will introduce a café racer-style bike based on the Evoke S.
It looks like you will have a very busy and important year coming up. We thank you for your time, and we hope that all your plans will come to fruition!