India looks set to move most of its motorcycle and scooter production and sales to electric with government incentives over the next six to eight years.
The proposal was chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has been re-elected with more than 63% of the vote.
Similarly, the recent Australian election campaign heard that the Coalition believes electric vehicles will make up 25-50% of new passenger vehicles by 2030, while Labor wanted a target of 50% and the Greens called for 100%.
Those targets are largely out of our hands as we no longer have a car industry.
Australian vehicle imports will be determined by foreign manufacturers who will probably reach those targets anyway. For example, Sweden will not be making any internal combustion vehicles by 2030.
But the electrification of India’s vehicle manufacturing industry is a far more significant move for the world.
India is one of the biggest automobile manufacturers in the world, producing 4.6 millions cars last year.
It is also the biggest motorcycle and scooter market in the world with more than 21m sales a year.
Over the past two years sales of electric scooters in India more than doubled from 54,800 to 126,000, but it’s still only a small fraction of total sales.
Indian motorcycle companies Hero Electric, Ather Energy, Emflux, Twenty Two Motors and Okinawa produce electric scooters and motorcycles.
Prime Minister Modi had previously said all new cars and utility vehicles manufactured in the country would be electric by 2030, but he backed down after an industry backlash.
However, with his resounding victory at the polls he is expected to wind up his electric plan, particularly for powered two- and three-wheelers.
His draft plan recommends $1.4 billion in incentives for the manufacture and sale of electric motorbikes and scooters while penalising petrol-powered bikes.
It will be interesting to see if Harley-Davidson, who make their Street models in India, will also receive government incentives to produce and/or sell their upcoming LiveWire in India.
The man of the moment in Moto2™ has to be Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up). Over the past three Grands Prix, the Spaniard has racked up two pole positions and three podium finishes to drag himself into contention for the World Championship – now eleven points adrift of Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP40) at the top of the table.
“You look at his social media accounts and interviews and he’s obviously hyping himself up, wanting to get that podium and be a top finisher and as the weekend progresses, again it works against you. Because you start getting flustered, getting worked up and telling yourself ‘why am I not at the front? If he’s doing it, why can’t I do it?’ That was always a big thing with myself, I was always saying ‘if they’re doing it, why can’t I?’. It can work for you sometimes, but it can also work against you sometimes.”
Edwards: “I guess that that’s possible because I think we feel like, being American, the home of Grand Prix racing is Europe based and around that area typically, that’s our feeling. Even though we do Malaysia, Japan, Australian and all that stuff, but let’s just say that’s home base. But yeah let’s say we’re racing in the US and going to Laguna, Indy or here in COTA it was always a little bit special. I mean hell I could get in my truck and drive here, it’s two and a half hours, it’s awesome. That’s the one good thing about it. I may as well be going to Europe if I’m flying to Laguna it’s quite a way away so yeah that aspects good. And friends, family – nobody has to catch a flight, just jump in a car and hop up.”
“We have had three CEOs, three acting chairs and several changes to our board members,” the email says.
“These changes have meant that BDRA has been a little rudderless, and the organisation has incurred a rapidly growing cost structure that was not sustainable.”
However, BDR spokesman Richard Brown says they will still run the same events across the country.
“We are restructuring so that we can come back bigger and better,” he says.
“Previously there have been planning issues and communication issues.
“We are taking this as an opportunity to come up with better ways to plan, coordinate, and communicate.”
Here is the full text of the BDRA email.
Changes to Black Dog Ride Australia
Firstly, we wanted to acknowledge the range of reactions to the news that Fiona Duffield is no longer a paid employee of Black Dog Ride Australia (BDRA). We also acknowledge that our initial statement gave limited information, though we emphasis the statement was to ensure the community were informed of this change from BDRA and not indirectly through other sources.
We also acknowledge there was no statement on Erin Hope’s departure who after a short tenure is also no longer a paid employee of BDRA. Our statement was not meant to give an overview of staff member changes rather it was to let everyone know of the significant change surrounding Fiona as a long-standing member of the team.
As many of you will be all too aware, since the retirement of our founder Steve Andrews, BDRA has been in a state of flux, we have had 3 CEO’s, 3 Acting Chairs and several changes to our board members. These changes have meant that BDRA has been a little rudderless, and the organisation has incurred a rapidly growing cost structure that was not sustainable.
In fact, as of the start of May this year we were incurring approximately $22,000 per month in fixed operating costs (approximately $264,000 per annum). Of that, approximately $15,900 per month was going to wages and office rental costs combined (approximately $195,000 per annum).
At that level of expenditure, and assuming the Around Australia Ride and state rides hit their budget, we only had enough funds in the `operating’ account to run BDRA for 5 to maybe 7 months.
We do also have an entirely separate `gift’ account for the collection of donations and charitable fundraising dollars. As a registered charity organisation we are required to operate this separate fund which is primarily to be used to return funds to the community to support mental health and suicide prevention initiatives. The gift account can and will be used to distribute funds to deserving initiatives through our new community grants funding model. More news on that later in this newsletter.
However, with limited operating funds available, we took the difficult decision to make Fiona Duffield and Erin Hope redundant in line with the provisions of their award. This is never a good situation and this was not a decision we took lightly.
Redundancy arrangements were formulated in consultation with a Perth based Human resources consultancy. It is not appropriate for us to disclose details that are of a private nature (private to Fiona and Erin). But what we can say is that on the day (Tuesday 14th May) we had Richard Brown attend to represent Black Dog Ride together with the Human resources consultant, a Social Worker for employee support, an IT consultant to start working on IT changes, and a security guard to provide access for transport companies quoting on relocating merchandise and equipment.
Beyond the reduction in salaries and rental costs we are also reviewing the ongoing costs around bookkeeping, insurances etc.. We are also looking at the costs within the Around Australia Ride budget and areas this can be reduced/maximised.
Further on in this newsletter we will outline what operational changes we are implementing within BDRA and talk a little about the plan moving forward. Though we want to highlight here that prior to recent years BDRA has run a very lean operation, calling very much on the knowledge, skills and expertise of its volunteer community and we will be looking to get back there, as we should being a charity organisation.
It may not be apparent from the outside, but there has been a lot of work going on over the past 3 to 4 months with the new board in place. We could all start to debate who caused the problems we’re now working our way out of, but we have decided that would only take us away from the critical list of jobs we need to complete to get us to where we want to be.
Beyond the AAR, State Rides and 1-dayers we are also working on revenue raising initiatives that if successful will be announced over time. Also, with the strengthening undertaken over the last 3 to 4 months on our Corporate Governance structure we are almost in a place where we can start formally applying to corporate foundations for regular grants.
We stress however, that any business initiative does not happen overnight, and we will need 6 to 12 months to really get things back on track.
Lastly, though definitely not the least, BDRA is you – our community. We hope you will stand by us as we work towards a stable and growing organisation that is really making a difference.
Sincerely, BDRA Acting Chair, Jo-Anne Harrison
Operational Plan – The Next 12 Months
There are many things we could talk about as far as our current list of things to do. It will take some work for us to get where we want to go, and things won’t be perfect for a while, but here’s a brief overview of what we have planned in the short term.
For the next 12 months (or less) Black Dog Ride Australia will operate with a Manager (at .5FTE) and two Administration Officers (both at .6FTE). Richard Brown will act as the business Manager, paid at a rate of $42.50 per hour on a 12 month contract. The two Administration Officers will be paid at a rate of up to (depending on experience) $33.06 per hour on a 12 month contract. A special government wage subsidy will apply to the two administration employees, which will greatly reduce our wage costs. With this arrangement in place the total salary cost to the organisation for the 1.7FTE will be budgeted at $5375 per month, or $64500 per year.
It is our intention to either sub-let or surrender the Perth office. The current managing real estate agent in Perth is being quite helpful with this process, so we are hopeful that monthly rental costs for the property can be minimised within the next two months.
We do not intend to establish a dedicated Black dog ride office during the coming 12 month period. As an interim measure the 1.7FTE staff will share an office area which has been provided to us for $500 per month, $6000 per year.
Critical objectives for the next 12 months include, but are not limited to,:
Keeping Black Dog Ride operating – this should go without saying.
Seek opportunities to simplify operations, streamline processes and reduce costs. For example, Black Dog Ride merchandise is costly because it is labour-intensive and it ties up money in slow-moving stock. It will be necessary to reconsider what merchandise items we continue to stock, and the way we handle our merchandise across the country.
Seek opportunities to increase our revenue. We are currently working on obtaining corporate sponsorships and government funding, but these funding avenues generally take a long time to come to fruition, so we may not see a great deal of revenue through these sources within the next 12 months. We are also working on opening a Black Dog Ride membership program which is something we should do anyway, but may also provide the organisation with a little extra revenue.
Develop more effective ways to communicate with our volunteers and Black Dog Ride community. We are working on a few ideas at the moment that we hope to trial over the coming months.
Plan and coordinate long-distance rides and 1 Dayers, allowing long planning lead-times.
Facilitate disbursement of donated funds. A long long awaited community funding model should be released very soon. We’ll talk about this a bit more later in the newsletter.
Expand Black Dog Ride. We would like to establish new 1 Dayers across the country, and will consider the viability of adding some new activities to the calendar.
Key stakeholders of Black Dog Ride have previously met for strategic planning sessions during 2017 and 2018. The result of those meetings was an initial rough draft three-year strategic plan.
A project specific board sub-committee was formed on 5th February 2019 to review and amend the draft strategic plan for adoption by the board as soon as possible. This committee was made up of Rachel Carter, David Lovell and Richard Brown, and was also tasked with making recommendations on the future structure of BDRA, and the future recruitment of a new CEO/General Manager/Business Manager.
Members of the project specific strategic planning committee have undertaken a significant reformatting and revision of the draft strategic plan over the past three months. The committee has also formed the opinion that this strategic plan should be adopted as a five-year plan, reviewed and adjusted annually.
Please take a good look at our new strategic plan. This plan will be put into a more presentable form with some new graphics and published on our new website which is due to be launched in July – more on our website later.
The community Grants funding model was proposed over 18 months ago. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, not a great deal of work had been done on this until early this year. Between January and now Michael Young has put in a lot of work drafting a proposed new community Grants funding model, application form, and decision criteria with some input from Jo-Anne Harrison and Richard Brown.
We know this has been talked about for a long time now, but we really are getting very close to being able to launch this new initiative. Although our operating funds are low, we do have money in our “gift fund” account to provide to local community initiatives. Please stay tuned.
In December 2018 the board commissioned the development of a new website by Perth-based Millstream, a long-time supporter of Black Dog Ride. Millstream have been working on our new website ever since and we are hopeful the new site will be ready to go active in July this year.
This new website will give a fresh new look and work better on handheld devices (phones etc.). We also expect this to be much easier for us to update (as the old one was complicated).
“Yeah I’m a little bit disappointed because I wanted to race here in front of the French crowd but the first race will be at the Sachsenring,” commented De Puniet. “I tried the bike here last year, I was alone on the track so I wanted to fight in front, like I said before, the crowd. But finally, we will go to the Sachsenring after testing after the Barcelona MotoGP. So everything should be ready to have a great fight.”
The likes of Charlie Farrer and Rhys Irwin, meanwhile, showed top consistency to score big. Farrer took a fourth and a sixth and Irwin two P5s, so they’ll be looking to move forward and take a podium from those foundations. 2018 podium finisher Seabright, though, will definitely be one looking for more.
The Red Bull KTM pitbox at Le Mans was full of smiles and high-fives after Pol Espargaro took the KTM RC16 to 6th place at round five of MotoGP, the best dry weather result for the crew in their third year in the premier class.
Team-mate Johann Zarco managed 13th, equalling his highest classification so far, at his home Grand Prix and in front of many fans under grey skies in France.
27 intense laps of the Le Mans circuit yielded another small milestone in KTM’s young MotoGP history as all four bikes graced the top fifteen and scored points.
Pol made a positive start and then chased the rear wheel of Valentino Rossi in the second half of the race, relatively safe ahead of Franco Morbidelli in seventh.
Espargaro crossed the finish line less than six-seconds behind winner Marc Marquez.
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager
“To fight in the top ten – for sixth place – and be only six seconds behind the race winner in dry conditions and no excuses: you can only be proud. We’re proud of Pol for how he made that result but also for all the people who have worked so hard on this project. We are still at the beginning of season-three but over the winter the comments from all our riders and test riders meant some ideas that took time to find technical answers and after Jerez we had some, and it was an achievement. We felt we had good performance and Friday here was amazing. Things did not work out as expected for qualifying but Pol did a great job and so did everyone around him and us. We’re still not happy that Johann cannot perform like Pol but I think we started to do the right things with him here and this was the first time where he said he felt comfortable and the lap-time was coming. Now we have to work hard to put that into a dry setting and to ‘make’ the bike more for him. He is more motivated and I think Jean-Michel Bayle helps him a lot. For the first time in history we have all KTMs in the championship points and I’m happy that Hafizh made it and Miguel did it again. It was a very good day and we’ll go to Mugello to try and beat it.”
Zarco was kept busy in mid-pack but his run to 13th was cheered by much of the public at the fences and represented his joint-best result in his fifth GP with the RC16.
Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin also both scored points with finishes of 15th and 14th respectively. Oliveira would have snared 14th spot but was penalised for exceeding track limits and dropped behind his teammate in the rankings.
Hervé Poncharal – Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team Manager
“Altogether it was a very positive weekend in France for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team. We have gathered a lot of very important information. Thanks to the weather we could ride on the wet for the very first time, which was good and we could see that both of our riders were quite competitive. So, this is something we’ve done now and we can look into the future in a more optimistic way – in terms of weather. The race was quite strong. We didn’t gain too many positions at the start, but we kept a very decent rhythm. We were right behind Johann (Zarco) and I think the three KTM of Johann, Miguel and Hafizh did very similar times lap after lap after lap, which were quite interesting. In the end, I’m really glad for Hafizh, who was right behind Miguel very long and thanks to a penalty for Miguel, that he caught by going through a chicane, Hafizh managed to catch two points. I think this is very important for him to be with Miguel and Johann the whole race and he scored his very first points of the season. We know how important it is not to finish last and to be close to the guys you are fighting with. So, we are happy for Hafizh. Miguel did a strong weekend. As usual, we are very happy with what he did as well. One has to finish in front of the other, Miguel crossed the line in front of Hafizh, but due to the penalty Hafizh was in front of him eventually. At the end of the day, they are good teammates, they are good guys and the most important is; we’ve been competitive all through the weekend, much, much better than the previous round in Spain. KTM could be pleased, I think, because this is the best result from Pol (Espargaro) in a dry race and this is also the first time of the year, where we have the four guys inside the points. So, it’s is a good weekend for Red Bull KTM Tech3, but also for KTM. I’d like to thank them one more time. We have more work to do, more catch-up to do, but we are a happy team tonight. We worked hard and this is the way we do, what we have to do, which is growing, improving and bringing KTM closer to the top guys, which will happen soon. So, thanks to everyone for the hard work, thanks to the two riders and their dedication in this project. Have a few days off and see you in Mugello!”
Pol Espargaro is now inside the MotoGP Championship Top Ten with a tally of 31-points across the opening five rounds of MotoGP season 2019.
Pol Espargaro – P6
“Simply a stunning result and almost unbelievable after less than two and a half years. We are showing that we are on the way. I am so proud of this project. We are there because we were fifth, and we were there during the whole race. The competition is so high here with the best riders in the world and we are just five seconds from the winner and that factory. It is amazing and for sure gives us wings to keep working and be better in the next races to keep fighting for the top ten. I had so much fun today and was on the limit from start to the end and it was amazing to see we were catching Vale in some places and Petrucci needed to hit me to overtake me. This makes me feel really proud.”
Johann Zarco – P13
“A tough race today. I had a good start and was controlling the bike well but lap-after-lap I was the end of my power because I still don’t have the optimum feeling. I’m happy with 13th position because it is still some points. Overall the weekend had a few good things and I will keep this in mind for the next race. I wanted to be in the top ten and I was close at the beginning of the race but I could not follow the pace. It was a shame. Pol did fantastically this weekend and that is great for KTM and for him. I still need to work because he proved that this can take you somewhere. We need time and I said that at the beginning of the season. I felt the quality of the bike this weekend and we have things to work on, so we leave France with a little bit of a smile.”
Hafizh Syahrin – P14
“I enjoyed the race. In the beginning it was a bit difficult to find the speed but lap-by-lap I found a rhythm and I tried to fight with Miguel and stay close to him. Finally, he made a mistake and I ended up being 14th. These two points have a huge meaning for me and I want to dedicate them to my family and everybody around me but especially the French fans because they always appreciate all of us riders. It’s the home GP for the team and I never give up. I also want to thank my team because they always trusted in me and also never gave up to help me, to improve my bike, my riding style with the new machine.”
Miguel Oliveira – P15
“It has been a hard race today. All weekend we didn’t have so much dry time, so obviously the setting was not perfect. Anyway, we managed to make some progress I was able to go a little bit faster than this morning. I struggled in the race with a couple of things, but in general I would say, the result was a bit better than Jerez, which for me is the only positive today. I’m quite upset with my penalty. Anyway, we move on to the next round now.”
KTM hope for even more success at the Gran Premio D’Italia around the majestic sweeps and turns of Mugello that will take place in the first weekend will take place across the first weekend in June.