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Bajaj rolls out low-emission fuel-efficient autorickshaw

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Gasoline direct injection three-wheelers to be available in 2 versions

New technology: Mr R.C. Maheshwari, CEO, Commercial Vehicle Business, Bajaj Auto, at the launch of REGDi autorickshaw in Pune on Saturday.
New technology: Mr R.C. Maheshwari, CEO, Commercial Vehicle Business, Bajaj Auto, at the launch of REGDi autorickshaw in Pune on Saturday.

Our Bureau

Pune, Dec. 8 Two-wheeler major Bajaj Auto Ltd today launched the gasoline direct injection engine version of autorickshaw, maintaining that the new technology cuts engine emissions drastically while improving fuel efficiency greatly.

The company is working on launching CNG and LPG versions of the vehicle within a year, the Managing Director, Mr Rajiv Bajaj, said, adding that the GDi technology was generic, and could also be extended to four and two-wheelers in the future.

Vehicle’s features

The new three-wheeler REGDi will be available in two versions, an economy model costing Rs 92,000 and a deluxe model that has features like an electric start, twin headlamps and a dashboard coming at a price tag of Rs one lakh.

It will be produced at Bajaj’s Waluj plant near Aurangabad and cater to the domestic market for the first two years, Mr R.C. Maheshwari, CEO, Commercial Vehicle Business, Bajaj Auto, said.

The company expects to produce around 36,000 GDi vehicles during the first year, and phase out the existing models over the next six to eight months.

Among the features of REGDi are greater fuel efficiency, low oil consumption, increased torque and power and better acceleration.

According to the company, the vehicle gives 44 kilometres per litre of gasoline, and the technology is capable of meeting future norms as it reduces 50 per cent carbon monoxide and 25 per cent hydrocarbon and nitrous oxide emissions.

Maintaining that the gasoline direct injection technology had lots of ramifications for the future, Mr Bajaj said: “There is no reason why GDi should be restricted only to three-wheelers.”

He observed that it could be extended to two and four-wheeler platforms, and fitting it on a 100 cc 2-stroke engine could make it enormously fuel efficient.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 9, 2007)
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