No, Tesla didn’t make it and neither did any other multinational vehicle manufacturer that may come to your mind. “Project Zero” is the outcome of all the conjoined efforts, hardship, knowledge, and energy of Yatri Motorcycles; a Nepali motorcycle manufacturing company founded in 2017 by Ashim Pandey. The company strives for improved individual mobility, while simultaneously making an impact on environmental protection. But what is Project Zero exactly, you might be wondering. This is the company’s first and consequently Nepal’s first electric motorcycle as well. Taking inspiration from the classic “Café Racer” bikes, Project Zero (P0) features a bold, futuristic, and contrasting design with an impressive spec-sheet too.
Yatri Motorcycles: Project Zero
Nepal Government has been pretty “vocal” about its stance on electric vehicles in the country. It wants more of it, and fast. In order to persuade people towards owning EVs (Electric Vehicles), the government imposes a mere 10% excise duty (for private usage) or a minuscule 1% for public EVs, while regular non-electric vehicles are subject to up to 240% import tax. This makes the ownership of EVs all the more logical in a price-sensitive market like Nepal.
So take pride and be glad to know that Yatri Motorcycles’ Project Zero is an electric motorcycle, designed, assembled entirely in Nepal while a few of the complex parts have been imported from abroad. Specifically, these complex components include the “Brembo Brakes”, “Metzler tires” to name a few.
Project Zero’s First Test Ride. [Credit: Ashim Pandey (u/maverickasim), Reddit]
Having to assemble imported components isn’t that big an issue for the team at all. What hurt the process the most (at least financially), is the fact that Yatri’s custom-designed parts manufactured abroad (because of the production constraints in Nepal) is recognized as “spare parts” and not “raw materials”. With this, Yatri is compelled to pay a hefty 30-35% tax for importing something of their own design. A little leeway would’ve been better, but here we are.
Now let’s get into what Project Zero is packing. I should remind you that the company isn’t taking a page out of your regular affordable bikes with compromises here and there. This is a premium EV with a powerful performance which is likely to cost a lot as well. The majority of the bike has been manufactured using the lighter and stronger carbon fiber in spite of metal.
“Through this elegant design, we aim to reach not only the environmentalists but ultimately those who care about owning an inspiring product.”
You will not be sacrificing any degree of performance with Project Zero. Here, its powerful 30kW motors will give you 42BHP (Brake Horse Power) and 120NM torque. Furthermore, this bike has a top speed of 120km/hr.
The battery on this thing is nothing short of impressive as well. Upon a full charge (which will take 2 hours or more), Project Zero can last for 230km. According to the company, a full charge under alternate current (AC) will cost you around NRs. 70.
Similarly, the bike incorporates a big 7-inches Full-HD display which will be how you’ll access the company’s Yatri Hub app. Apart from displaying the regular data like speed and GPS, you can also check intricate details like approximate money you’ve saved by switching to an EV.
Can I buy it now?
Unfortunately not yet. Yatri hasn’t yet revealed what Project Zero will cost but has said that test rides will be open come March 2020. In the congested and inconsistent roads of Nepal, Yatri’s Project Zero looks to provide a premium riding experience, with something to show for environmental protection too.