Australia’s first full-size electric motorcycle, the Savic C-Series, has been delayed more than 18 months by the coronavirus pandemic and a delay in government support.
The first 50 were to be delivered to customers by last December and supporters had contacted us with concerns that the bike would ever be produced.
Now designer Dennis Savic says they have now secured $1.83 million in funding and Dennis are aiming to have at least 20 bikes delivered to their owners in the last quarter of 2022, before scaling up manufacturing in 2023.
Funding includes contributions from the Victorian Government and co-investment of $657,000 from the Federal Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC).
The former Ford optimisation engineer and his Perth-based co-designer Dave Hendroff have built up a team of more than 30 automotive engineers and software developers – some full-time, some consultants – to develop the C-Series.
Their West Melbourne firm has already received 90 orders for the three-model C-Series, which ranges from the torquey 25-kilowatt Omega (comparable to a 300cc traditional motorbike), to the 40kW Delta, and the 60kw Alpha (roughly equivalent to a 1000cc bike). The Alpha has 200Nm of torque, powering it to 100km/h from a standing start in 3.5 seconds.
The C-Series’ 16kWh lithium-ion battery can be charged to 80% in under four hours and will deliver a city range of between 150km (for the Omega) and 250km (for the Alpha). The Omega will cost $12,990, the Delta $16,990, and the Alpha will be $23,990 which is less than half the price of its main competitor, the Harley-Davidson LiveWire.
“Our initial customers have proved to be incredibly loyal and have shown great faith in us and our bike during the delays we’ve experienced during the lockdowns of the past 18 months,” Dennis says.
Savic’s customers are an eclectic mix of young and old, male and female, with CEOs and CFOs alongside tradies and farmers.
“We even have a couple of lifelong Harley riders in there, which gives us great delight,” Dennis says.
Investor Michelle Melbourne, who represents a group of motorcycle-riding private investors, says the company is “very important for all Australians”.
“The switch to sustainable forms of transport is happening rapidly, and Savic has the prototype for a revolutionary and elegant market offering that is attractive to traditional motorcycle enthusiasts and newcomers alike,” Michelle says.
Dr Jens Goennemann, Managing Director of the AMGC says Savic Motorcycles are “paving the way for electric mobility in Australia by leveraging the best of breed designers, engineers and manufacturing partners to deliver motorbikes of unmatched performance for local and global customers”.
“Savic are proof that when you embrace the entire manufacturing process from design to research and development, all the way through to sales, there are exciting times ahead for Australian manufacturing.”
Global venture capital firm Artesian has supported Savic through its last two capital raises.
“We believe that electric vehicles are the future of automotive transport, and we’ve been impressed with the Savic team’s ability to design and build a high-performance electric road bike and commence D2C sales,” says Artesian Portfolio Manager Alexandra Clunies-Ross.
Savic has run two small capital raises to develop its prototype over the past four years, but its current raise is a game-changing proposition that will fast-track progress towards a second 200-unit production run in 2023. The funds drive was supported by grants from the AMGC and the Victorian Clean Tech Fund, as well as an R&D loan from the Victorian Government’s Invest Victoria.
The C-Series has several world-class, racing-quality components, including Wilbers suspension, Brembo brakes, and a customised Optibelt carbon-fibre drive belt.
The Savic team is also developing an artificial intelligence system and riders’ app, and will design a special anti-lock braking system with Bosch Australia.
All Savic bikes will also have removable cowls to allow for pillion passengers.
Earlier this year, the C-Series Alpha featured as the title object at the entrance to the ‘Spark’ climate-change exhibition at Sydney’s Australian Museum, and was celebrated as one of the world’s 101 most influential motorcycles at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art.