Bajaj Auto e-scooter could get swappable, detachable battery

Bajaj Auto, considered one of India’s high two-wheeler makers, is engaged on detachable and swappable battery variants of its premium electrical scooter, Chetak.

The transfer is a part of Bajaj’s technique to embrace various charging options available in the market and put together for brand new dominant options which will emerge, a senior firm govt mentioned.

The corporate additionally plans to double manufacturing capability for the scooter to twenty,000 models a month by the top of this monetary yr, Rakesh Sharma, govt director, Bajaj Auto mentioned in an interview. The corporate is, nonetheless, awaiting readability on whether or not the federal government will prolong Fame-II incentives past March 2024 earlier than it decides to ramp up manufacturing.

Bajaj Auto can also be seeking to broaden its line-up of electrical two-wheelers beneath the Chetak umbrella model by launching variants throughout value factors within the fiscal second half. It had earlier reduce costs of the electrical Chetak, citing optimistic developments on value constructions and a stabilizing provide chain.

“Our present nameplate capability is 10,000 models a month, and we’re shifting in the direction of a situation the place we’ll do 20,000 models – it could be potential throughout the yr. However we wish to be calibrated. We don’t wish to rush in as a result of we acknowledge there’s a interval of ambiguity right here – there’s a long-term uncertainty which is at a worldwide stage on applied sciences, lithium-ion cells, competing applied sciences, and so on,” Sharma mentioned. “The opposite is whether or not the Fame-II subsidy scheme will proceed or will likely be discontinued; within the latter situation, it should undoubtedly have an effect and can shrink the market. It is going to additionally get rid of a number of the weaker gamers who lack the dedication for the lengthy haul, however a minimum of for a while, the market will cut back, so we don’t wish to be speeding within the identify of bravado and see distributors, sellers working with us sink”.

Bajaj Auto additionally plans to open extra Chetak-exclusive showrooms by September, which can mark a shift from promoting out of KTM showrooms. It goals to have 150 showrooms, of which 130 will likely be Chetak-exclusive shops, within the subsequent 4 months, Eric Vas, president, Urbanite, Bajaj Auto mentioned. The corporate has requested the federal government for readability on whether or not an extension of the Fame-II incentive scheme, initially set to run out in March 2024, is imminent.

“We count on consultative course of… we’re increasing our dealerships now principally in tier-II cities. We don’t wish to have dealerships in secondary and tertiary cities which will develop into unviable after the incentives finish,” Vas mentioned.

Bajaj Auto can also be working with its Austrian accomplice KTM, a maker of efficiency bikes, to develop a platform for electrical bikes, which will likely be used to launch international merchandise, Sharma mentioned. Nevertheless, a business launch of such a product is two-three years away, he added.

Registrations of the Chetak electrical scooter fell 12% to simply over 4,000 models in April on a month-to-month foundation, knowledge from the federal government’s VAHAN dashboard confirmed.

“We’re in a scenario the place we’ll promote every part we will produce. Our job is to stabilize the availability chain and get it in correct form for us. Our nameplate capability is round 10,000 – however our distributors must ramp as much as that as effectively. Our present expertise is once we made the transition to the brand new battery guidelines which got here into power from April 1, we discovered we weren’t unable to supply as a lot as we had been earlier. So to restabilize the road and get again to these values goes to take us time. The phase-II norms, nonetheless, have already been engineered for us”, Vas mentioned.

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