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The company is working on making an electric version of its Qute. "Initially, the Qute will come with three powertrain options: petrol, CNG and LPG. In due course, we will also present an electric option," said Rakesh Sharma, president – International Business, Bajaj Auto.
The company is now ready to finally launch its quadricycle in the Indian market. The delay was because the Ministry of Road Transport needed to create a new quadricycle category, just a few months after the Qute (then, the RE60) was unveiled at the 2012 Auto Expo. The Qute is already being exported to other markets.
"We are delighted that MoRTH has officially approved the Quadricycle category. We will launch it (the Qute) in the intra-city last mile and first mile public transport domain as soon as all the other formalities are over," Sharma stated, and added, "the process now is to complete the certification at ARAI. After that the RTOs at State levels can be approached for respective clearances."
The Qute uses a 216.6cc petrol engine that makes 13.5hp and 19.6Nm and is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. The top-speed is limited to 70kph and the engine will be BS-VI-compliant soon. For now, only BS-IV-compliant vehicles have been submitted to ARAI for certification.
The Qute’s aim is to replace three-wheelers, to some extent, but Sharma sees huge potential for both types of vehicles to co-exist, since they offer different grades of performance and affordability.
"To some extent there could be some substitution effect but that will be smaller than the expansion effect. Qute has the potential of motivating new drivers and owners to enter business (become self-employed) than perhaps other vehicles in this segment," Sharma added.