Bajaj Auto will maintain a fine balance between IC engine vehicles and EVs
Bajaj Auto is one of the most prominent two-wheeler and three-wheeler manufacturers in the world. Though India is their biggest market, they also have a global presence unlike any other. Bajaj exports to about 70 countries around the world. This is why Bajaj claims that they are The World’s Favourite Indian.
Bajaj Auto recently inaugurated Chetak Technology’s new manufacturing facility at Akurdi. This manufacturing facility has been created for EV development and production for Bajaj’s subsidiary company Chetak Technology. Rakesh Sharma, exec director at Bajaj Auto, Sharma revealed what Bajaj Auto has on its plate right now and what it expects to be in the future.
Bajaj Auto EV Portfolio
The Indian automaker is keen on maintaining a synergy between both its EV portfolio and IC engine vehicles portfolio. Sharma also expressed Bajaj Auto’s reservations as to why they’re not going all hands on deck with EVs just yet. This is because the transition from IC engine vehicles to EVs is not yet happening at a pace to justify the outright change in strategies.
But Bajaj Auto realises the significance of EVs in markets like India where it is raining EVs and not in a good way. To provide undivided attention and developments, Bajaj decided to create its subsidiary Chetak Technology. With Chetak Technology, Bajaj aims to make it a global hub for EV design, development and production.
Bajaj believes that the scope of ICE vehicles will not get over in a hurry. Even optimistically considering that 50% of the bikes somehow become electric by the end of 2030, the other half will still be reliant on IC engines. Bajaj Auto is also expected to learn a lot of things from its new partnership with Yulu allowing it to integrate them with their product solutions. They will be launching a new EV later this year, exclusively for Yulu.
Bajaj is also expected to expand Chetak’s EV portfolio both vertically and horizontally. Sharma also hints at possible sub-segments within Bajaj Auto or Chetak Technology in the form of Pulsar Electric two-wheelers while RE branding will still adhere to three-wheelers. He also mentioned that KTM is keen on electric motorcycle and so is Husqvarna electric scooter (spied testing in pune). According to him, Bajaj is still not in talks regarding EVs with its British partner Triumph.
Chetak’s Global Expansion
Chetak technology is toying with the idea of selling Chetak EVs overseas. Particularly, ASEAN markets where scooters form more than 90% of the market share in countries like Vietnam. Even though Bajaj Auto is still young in ASEAN markets, with supply-chain stabilisation, we can expect Bajaj to jump into this popular market with its EVs.
If Pulsar electric will become a reality, we can expect Bajaj to base it on the existing Pulsar range of motorcycles with the same chassis and even body panels too. We can also see similar hardware like brakes and suspension that are currently doing duties in the Pulsar lineup. It will be interesting to see a mainstream manufacturer like Bajaj to expand its EV portfolio from just electric scooters to motorcycles.