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HomeLatviaOruga start-up plans to launch the world's first electric-assisted track motorcycles next...

Oruga start-up plans to launch the world’s first electric-assisted track motorcycles next year

An off-road motorcycle that can be ridden in mountains, swamps, sand and ice seemed only possible in fantasy novels a few years ago, but Latvian start-up Oruga has achieved the almost impossible and created the world’s first electric track motorcycle, the Oruga Unitrack, which excels in all seasons with its excellent all-terrain handling. The first hundred of these unique motorcycles are expected to start arriving in the Baltic States at the end of next year, and in the slightly more distant future they are expected to conquer the whole of Europe, especially Scandinavia, and even the American market. Already now, a queue of pre-order buyers is starting to form.

The world’s first electric track motorcycle, the Oruga Unitrack, was designed by Latvian scientist and engineer Juris Kļava. Although the idea of this type of vehicle is not unique, he is the first person in the world to create a viable concept with an electric motor, taking into account technological developments. In June 2023, a team of five scientists and budding entrepreneurs came together in an activity organised by the Commercialisation Reactor called “Ignition Event”. The design and testing phase of the scaled-down prototype has now been completed and work is underway to build a full-size prototype model that could see the light of day in the next two months. Larger-scale production is expected to start in 2025, when the first 100 unique vehicles could be available.

According to calculations, the Oruga Unitrack has at least 14 times more traction than off-road motorcycles, so it’s no wonder that the UK media Visor Down named the Latvian-made superbike as the most suitable vehicle for escape even in a zombie apocalypse. Combining the manoeuvrability of a motorcycle with the performance of a tracked vehicle, this off-road unitrack is designed for outdoor adventurers and professionals who need a reliable all-terrain vehicle in all conditions. The tracked motorcycle will initially be equipped with an electric motor that can travel up to 200 kilometres on a single charge in the most powerful version. At the same time, additional batteries will be available, which will be easy to take with you and replace when needed. A hybrid powertrain is also being considered, but according to the company, it will be up to market demand to sort everything out.

“Potential buyers could be hunters, forest supervisors, people who like innovation and the ability to get anywhere quickly and easily. Of course, the military industry and rescue services are also very interested in Oruga Unitrack,” says Liene Vītola, CEO of Oruga.

It is expected that by the end of next year, customers will be able to buy the coveted Oruga Unitrack online. The innovative product has already been noticed not only in the Baltic States, but also in other parts of Europe and even in South America, which is currently being evaluated as a potential export market. “The Oruga team is actively participating in the most important industry exhibitions and is currently (19-20.06.2024) presenting the Oruga Unitrack at the MOVE:Mobility re-imagined exhibition in London.

Oruga has raised initial funding for the idea with the help of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) and the financial institution Altum, but is now looking for investors for further development to be able to start production within the planned deadlines. The current focus is on building and testing a full-size prototype, which requires around EUR 250 000, with at least another EUR 2 million needed to start production.

“We are now feeling the support of LIAA and positively evaluating the programmes it offers. I can definitely advise people with initiative not to be afraid and to implement their ideas as we have done,” adds L. Vītola.

It is worth mentioning that at the end of May, Oruga won a prize from Terranova Defense, as well as from LIAA, in the startup pitch competition at the deep tech industry conference “Deep Tech Atelier 2024”, winning the opportunity to participate in the digital innovation festival “WeMakeFuture 2024” in Italy.

“Oruga is a Latvian mobility technology start-up, founded in early 2023, developing single-track systems and vehicles. Its first application is the Oruga Unitrack, an off-road vehicle that combines the manoeuvrability of a motorcycle with the performance of a tracked vehicle. It is designed for outdoor adventurers and professionals who need a reliable all-terrain vehicle in all conditions.


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