Friday, May 24

Bajaj Contemplating CNG Motorcycle Launch in 6-12 Months Alongside Exploring Various Alternative Powertrains

Bajaj is considering launching a CNG-powered motorcycle within the next 6-12 months. The company is also exploring different types of alternative power sources for their vehicles.

Bajaj Auto, a major two-wheeler manufacturer, has made a significant mark in the electric scooter market with its Chetak model. Now, the company is planning to introduce alternative fuel options like Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), and ethanol blends for its range of vehicles, from two-wheelers to quadricycles, in the coming years. The goal is to provide affordable and environmentally friendly alternatives with lower running costs.

 

Bajaj Contemplating CNG Motorcycle Launch in 6-12 Months Alongside Exploring Various Alternative Powertrains
Bajaj Contemplating CNG Motorcycle Launch in 6-12 Months Alongside Exploring Various Alternative Powertrains

 

It has been revealed that a CNG-petrol hybrid bike with the internal code name Bruzer of E101 is in the final stages of development. If everything goes as planned, this product may hit the roads in about six months to a year. The first few prototype vehicles have already been created, and production is set to begin at Bajaj’s Aurangabad factory before expanding to its Pant Nagar facility. The brand name “Platina” is being considered for this model.

Rakesh Sharma, the Executive Director of Bajaj Auto, highlighted the challenges of reducing India’s import bill and pollution. Bajaj Auto has been a pioneer in adapting CNG and LPG for three-wheelers and now commands a 90% share in the passenger three-wheeler segment due to its technological capabilities and early initiatives.

Bajaj Auto aims to expand the use of cleaner fuels in its portfolio, including electric vehicles (EVs), ethanol, LPG, and CNG, in both the two-wheeler and three-wheeler segments, aligning with the government’s objectives.

While the initial production plan for CNG bikes was around 1-1.2 lakh units per year, this has been revised to over 2 lakh units and more.

Rajiv Bajaj, the Managing Director of Bajaj Auto, suggested that a CNG motorcycle could help lower running costs for bike users and make it more affordable, especially with government support like lower GST rates.

The automotive industry, including manufacturers like Maruti Suzuki, has urged the government to lower the GST rate on CNG vehicles to 18%, as it is not only environmentally friendly but also more fuel-efficient, which can help reduce the import bill.

The Federation of Automotive Dealers Association (FADA) has also requested the government to reconsider the GST rates for the two-wheeler segment. The 100-110 cc entry-level segment has faced challenges with slower growth compared to the overall two-wheeler market. Rising vehicle prices due to BS VI norms, safety standards, and increased insurance costs have made entry-level bikes less accessible to many buyers, particularly in the post-Covid-19 economic scenario.


Also read: Tata Safari and Harrier Facelift to Launch on October 17: Booking Amount, Specifications, and Color Options

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