- Government of India is focused on reduction of vehicular pollution and curtail fuel import bill
- Government asks industries to develop alternate fuel vehicles
- Government of India is coming up with the policy framework for setting up charging station to facilitate switching over to EVs.
- Bajaj Auto announces launch of electric bikes under premium segment with its “Urbanite” brand by 2020.
- Hero MotoCorp and TVS Motor Company already sell electric bikes and scooters
- Bajaj’s Urbanite brand is likely to face challenges from the rival Torq T6X performance bikes.
- More and more manufacturers are gearing up to manufacture electric vehicles.
It is happening and happening right now! The government of India appears to be very serious about the increasing level of pollution in the country and in order to tackle the issue seriously; it is pushing the industries to introduce electric vehicles in its earnest. Union Minister, Nitin Gadkari has recently sent a categorical message to the automobile industries to go for alternate fuel vehicles else, he will not mind bulldozing them. The harsh language shows the seriousness of the government which has been re-confirmed by the news that the Government of India is ready with a cabinet note to tackle the issue related to EV infrastructure of charging stations. This aim will certainly accelerate the efforts of the electric vehicle manufacturers to come out with electrically driven vehicles. The drive has twin purpose, one, to contain pollution and two, to reduce the fuel import bill. Aptly driven by this scenario, Bajaj Auto, the thirds largest manufacturer of motorcycles has announced that it is going to introduce electric motor cycles under “Urbanite” brand by 2020 under premium vehicle segment. The company is adopting a top down approach by first introducing the premium segment bikes and later will gradually introduce the mainstream segment in the market. In an interview with Livemint, Rajiv Bajaj, the Managing Director of Bajaj Auto Limited revealed details about the company’s electric bike project “Urbanite”. He plans to do a Tesla in the two wheeler segment. The project includes launching of a slew of electric motorcycles in premium segment of the market. The company is expected to introduce electric scooters and three wheelers few years later.
And it is not the Bajaj Auto Limited which has come up with the big plans to foray in electric bike market. Hero MotoCorp, India’s largest selling bike manufacturer, already sells a range of electric motor cycles and scooters in the country. The company has played a prominent role in developing electric vehicle market in the country with close to one lakh two vehicles already running in the country. The TVS Motor Company also sells electric Scooty.
Bajaj aims to offer the excellent performance of the electric vehicles as offered by its internal combustion based technology bikes. Later, the company plans to introduce bikes and scooters in lower segments.
The company has not yet revealed the technical specifications of the upcoming Urbanite brand of bikes. However, as claimed by the company, the model would be definitely in the high performance bracket. The Tork T6X, the India’s first electric performance bike with its cutting edge technology is also likely to be launched in the time to come which will be a rival to the Bajaj’s Urbanite performance bike. With the launch of Urbanite bike, the company aims to showcase its capabilities in manufacturing of electric vehicles.
Bajaj has made it amply clear that the Urbanite brand of bikes will be launched for sale by 2020 before which Torq T6X will be already on the roads. As such, Bajaj’s launch of Urbanite bike is not expected to be a cake walk.
With the government’s clear focus on cleaner technology in the transport segment, it is also expected that more and more manufacturer will shift the gears to develop electric vehicles. The trend is clearly visible in the market. The move also offers great opportunities ahead to ancillary auto industries and electric equipment sector.