First Bajaj Electric Two-wheeler Might Be Launched By 2020
Modified On Mar 20, 2019 By Niraj Kakade
At a recent meeting, Rajiv Bajaj also hinted at the possibility of debuting the electric two-wheeler by next year
After confirming the ‘Urbanite’ project back in September 2017, Bajaj Auto has recently shared some interesting development on its future. For the uninitiated, the Urbanite project was launched to serve as the electric wing of the company. While at that time the company was tight-lipped about the affair, thanks to recent comments from the company’s chairman, Rajiv Bajaj, we could see a Bajaj electric two-wheeler by 2020.
While speaking to shareholders at the 11th annual general meeting (AGM), Rajiv Bajaj was quoted saying, “Urban electric mobility is an area which is risky because not many companies have ventured there so far but it is even riskier not to be there. There I can definitely confirm that in addition to the electric work we do on three-wheeler and four-wheeler we are working very strongly on electric two-wheelers. It could be an electric motorcycle as we are a motorcycle company. It could be an electric scooter.”
He also confirmed that the Chakan-based company will not be entering the cut-throat petrol-powered scooter segment. However, a possibility of an electric scooter is still on the cards. “We never said we will not look at a disruptive opportunity with scooters. All we said was we are not going to make another 100cc scooter for Rs 50,000 and shut our shop doing that. So it could be a motorcycle, it could be a scooter we are not saying it yet what it could be. It could be both,” Bajaj said.
When asked about the timeline for the company's electric foray, he said that the bikemaker was targeting a launch before the BSVI emission norms kick in (read by 2020). He further added that there was also a possibility that it might be debuted at the next year's AGM conference.
“Before the BS-IV norms come into place we will put out an electric two-wheeler into the market. And it will be an exceptional global brand. Our thinking is very clear, consumers who are looking for vehicles like this are not buying them for their batteries. People are not buying Tesla because of its batteries, they buy because it is beautiful. So our way to approach electric mobility is not to make a battery on two-wheels (but) it is to make the most beautiful two-wheeler in the world which incidentally also happens to be zero emission,” added Bajaj.
While these may seem like tall claims, small electric startups like Ather have proved that producing premium electric two-wheelers isn’t an impossible task. With Bajaj’s manufacturing prowess and resources, the company does have what it takes to “do a Tesla in the two-wheeler space”. Considering more stringent BSVI emission norms will be implemented soon, a 2020 deadline seems perfect for the company.