“The relevant authorities in the government have deliberately watered down the norms, which has led to a flood of low-speed vehicles,” he said. “…under the guise of slow vehicles, you can bring scrap in from anywhere and take it out onto the street. If you don’t have scooters and e-ricks catching fire, then what do you expect?” Bajaj countered.
“Where did we go wrong? It is in the environment that we have created that affected people need to think about. As long as consumers are smarter than these people, they will make the right choices (proven brands and proven products). he said. “Why are people unrelated to EV trying to get into the EV business, which needs to be fixed? It’s partly because of the incentives,” Bajaj explained when responding to media inquiries about EVs.
What worries Rajiv more is that this environment has fueled “this gold rush.”
“I am amazed; i know some people These people have no R&D, no engineering, no purchasing function, or no more than half an assembly plant; they import things that have not been validated for the market and put them out there. That’s maybe why you see fires, breakdowns and accidents,” he explained.
In recent months, electric scooters from Ola Electric, Okinawa, and Pure EV, among others, have spontaneously caught fire. The government asked the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) to investigate these cases. The results in the DRDO report have yet to be released.
The flag bearer of Bajaj’s two-wheeler business says there are only two types of electric vehicles, those that have caught fire and those that will catch fire; he said
He explained that similar to electric vehicles, internal combustion engines from established vehicle manufacturers like GM and Hyundai have also caught fire – but they have systems and processes in place to deal with it.
“The problem is not the fire. The problem is the underlying manufacturing process,” explained Bajaj.
For his part, Bajaj Auto isn’t in the space, “opportunistic,” he said, because there’s a “big carrot” in the form of FAME benefits or a government incentive that tempts so many people.
“Maybe they failed at everything else, they import some kits and assemble them and sell them,” she mused on the state of affairs.
Quoting from the virtues of the Sufi mystic Rumi, Bajaj said: “When the flower does not bloom, one does not repair the flower but the surroundings.”
Upstarts, not startups
The CMD of the newly formed EV arm says if you look at the world of internal combustion engines you have ten big manufacturers at most, but in the EV space “every day there is a so-called new EV manufacturer; They call. They’re start-ups, I call them upstarts,” he said.
At the inauguration of his sole EV factory in Akurdi on the outskirts of Pune on the 84th birthday of his late father Rahul Bajaj, Rajiv recalled his father’s legacy and said: “We always joked that Chetak was his favorite son; happy how his birthday is celebrated.”
Rajiv recalled his early days at the factory and how some of the colleagues he met three decades ago took on some crucial roles in the current factory.
Rajiv refuted one view when asked if Bajaj’s movement on EV space was slow and steady.
“I will not accept that. Right or wrong, we have a certain way of doing things. It’s a robust process that we follow that ensures our products are of the highest quality, durable and reliable; that’s what what we produce,” he added to Bajaj.
The new facility has been built around core themes of focused, integrated and agile principles that enable Bajaj Auto to respond quickly.
With an investment of set up
Rs 300 crore, Chetak Technologies Limited, the factory will have an initial capacity of 5,000 units per year. The company claimed that alongside its investment, its supplier network will invest another Rs 500 crore and together the Akurdi EV plant will provide employment opportunities for over 10,000 people.
The company is currently working on a range of products under the Chetak brand – and has already started work on a dedicated platform for motorcycles, tricycles and quads. The Akurdi EV plant will not only serve the domestic volume of Bajaj and Yulu, but will also be a major export center for KTM and Husqvarna scooters and motorcycles over the next two years, said Rakesh Sharma, ED, Bajaj Auto.
To date, Bajaj Auto has sold over 14,000 electric vehicles in 25 cities and has over 18,000 units booked. The company is preparing to produce more provided supply-side challenges ease, Sharma added.