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Bajaj goals to double Chetak EV manufacturing by March 2023 | Autocar India

Written by Ravi Kapoor

Bajaj needs to be the world’s largest two- and three-wheeler EV maker exterior of China within the subsequent 5-6 years.

Bajaj Auto says it’s aiming at hitting 6,000 Chetak electrical scooters in gross sales per thirty days by the top of the present monetary 12 months (FY2023). In a latest dialog with Eric Vas, president of Urbanite at Bajaj Auto, we learnt fairly a bit about Bajaj Auto’s brief and long run plans within the EV house, in addition to how the corporate perceives the present state of the EV market in India.

Bajaj Chetak EV gross sales

At present, Chetak electrical scooter gross sales are across the 3,000-unit mark per thirty days, a quantity which is restricted by provide points greater than the rest. Contemplating that the Chetak is offered by round 45 shops throughout the nation, Vas tells us that the quantity is kind of good when you take into account that some rivals have extra shops. 

“The consensus on the semiconductor state of affairs is that you’ll in all probability not see free provide return until the top of 2023, however we can have considerably elevated provide within the interim and we want to exit this monetary 12 months on the price of about 6,000 items per thirty days,” he says. 

Authorities EV subsidies

Speaking in regards to the rising EV house for the reason that launch of Chetak in late 2019, Vas says a lot of it’s because of the authorities push. “A variety of the EV growth has been right down to authorities intervention just like the beneficiant subsidy and PLI scheme,” he notes. “The business will achieve a momentum of its personal, however how huge and deep it will likely be may be very troublesome to determine proper now, however my guess is it’s right here to remain.” 

On the similar time, he cautions {that a} reliance on subsidies shouldn’t be a sensible transfer by way of product planning. “We respect the subsidy and the federal government has completed an amazing job, however we have to be life like that subsidies will come down over time. That makes the technique of placing giant quantities of battery within the car a troublesome one to implement in the long run. Furthermore, opposite to earlier expectations, lithium cell prices have solely gone up within the final two years,” he provides. 

Localising Bajaj EV merchandise

Identical to with each different producer, the pandemic definitely hit Bajaj’s EV product growth schedule, seeing a delay of six to 9 months. Vas says, “That’s primarily on account of distributors not getting sure elements, not with the ability to scale and so on. We now have a really robust pipeline deliberate and as Rajiv Bajaj talked about, we’ll come out with a brand new product yearly.”

He additionally defined that the corporate has taken an enormous step ahead with the Chetak that’s now nearly totally localised, except for the chips and battery cells. “The unique Chetak EV had a number of components that had been coming from international suppliers. Now the car that has been offered since January this 12 months has 100 p.c Bajaj IP. Each half is Bajaj IP and that may be a main step-change after we aspire to be a worldwide participant.” 

He says it’s important that the OE has a radical understanding of the various components and applied sciences. “We are able to’t make chips or batteries, however we’ve chosen the place we need to make mental property investments and I believe we’re forward of the curve in comparison with everybody else, definitely in India, and I’d even go as far as to say that even globally there are solely two or three producers who’re forward of us by way of with the ability to have the sort of IP assets,” he provides. 

The Chetak is at present the most costly of the mainstream EVs on sale in India, however Vas states that Bajaj needs to be a participant that addresses many segments and cites the instance of the upcoming Yulu micro mobility product that Bajaj is growing. Yulu is the final mile shared mobility start-up that Bajaj invested in in 2019. 

The present Yulu e-bike is being assembled by Bajaj, however the Chakan primarily based producer will reveal a model new, regionally designed and developed micro mobility answer for Yulu within the coming months.

“Once we began micromobility with Yulu, the one supply was getting the kits in from China. Sure, we localised some elements. We discovered in a short time that the Chinese language product merely would not stack as much as the Indian working setting. Now with the sort of merchandise that you will note Yulu placing on the street – you will note Indian OE’s delivering superior merchandise.” 

Since we had been speaking about Chinese language EVs, I requested what Bajaj makes of the present messy market state of affairs with tons of of low-cost EVs of Chinese language origin being offered in India. 

“Everybody says the Chinese language will swallow us, I don’t assume that can occur as a result of within the two-wheeler house, they’ve by no means proven the power to make a product that may actually stand as much as assorted working environments. They make merchandise which work very properly of their working setting, and in all equity to them, they’ve an enormous market so why not. However we’ve not seen them succeed an excessive amount of globally and this has been historic even with ICE. We’re completely assured that after we take our product globally, it is going to succeed.”

Bajaj EV ambitions

Bajaj definitely has enormous aspirations within the EV house with goals to be one of many high gamers on a worldwide scale. Vas says the model needs to be the world’s largest EV participant exterior of China in two- and three-wheelers. “I believe in all equity it may possibly occur in 5 or 6 years. I believe we can have the product portfolio to try this.”

That’s undoubtedly an enormous journey from the place Bajaj at present stands within the EV house; and the subsequent piece within the puzzle will fall into place with the beginning of exports that ought to start by the top of this monetary 12 months.

About the author

Ravi Kapoor