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Bajaj is expected to unveil its first-ever electric two-wheeler in India. The company is planning to roll out the all-new Urbanite scooter range in the domestic market. This would be the first all-electric vehicle from the manufacturer of legendary Chetak scooter. Bear in mind that Urbanite will be a completely different range of products catering to mass-market and entry-level demands of the market. Amid hullaballoo surrounding this new product, reports have surfaced that Bajaj is working with its long-time partner KTM to develop an all-new electric powertrain for more powerful products.
In an interview to a leading business newspaper, Bajaj Auto's executive director confirmed that the company is indeed working on prototypes of several upcoming products but cannot confirm which will be launched first. Reports suggest that the Bajaj-KTM platform will support 48-volt powertrain and be jointly used by both brands in various ways.
Though the new platform is in a prototype stage, the development is happening at a very fast pace and the first product is expected to be launched by 2022. It has been suggested that the new 48-volt powertrain will be used in range of electric two-wheelers with output varying from 3 to 10 kW. And what could help keep the prices in check is that all the products on this new platform will be built in India.
As you might already know, KTM offers a range of electric two-wheelers in global markets. The brand is now bringing its expertise in electric mobility sector to India. Bajaj has not yet revealed the names of the two-wheelers that will be developed on this platform. We believe that a mix of various motorcycles and scooters will find use of this new platform.
As you all know, the Bajaj-KTM partnership has been a win-win deal in India. Both companies have learnt a lot from each other and their products such as Bajaj Dominar 400 and KTM 390 Duke have been a runaway success. In near future, when the market shifts focus to electric vehicles, we expect that this partnership will bring out many exciting products in the Indian market.
The electric vehicle market is expected to get a major push from the government in the coming years as it may only allow sale of electric-powered small capacity two-wheelers and three-wheelers in the country. However, what remains a major hurdle in the growth of electric vehicle market in India is the cost of these new vehicles. We feel the government needs to push for subsidies to make EVs successful in the Indian market.