Bajaj Auto is finally set to introduce its first electric three-wheeler this month. The product will be launched for both the cargo and passenger vehicle segments, but will be made available in a limited number of cities initially as the company wants to undertake the rollout in a phased manner.
In an interaction with businessline, Rakesh Sharma, Executive Director of Bajaj Auto, said: “We will start the sales in April for cargo and passenger electric three-wheeler vehicles. There will be a limited launch as we want to take it step by step, as it is very important to give a stable product to the commercial user.”
The company had initially planned to launch electric three-wheelers last year but delayed it considering user-safety.
“The FAME approval and ARAI certification has been done. There will be limited dispatches in the next couple of weeks... The dealerships are being prepared and the training is underway,” Sharma added.
The penetration of electric three-wheelers will be between 14 per cent and 16 per cent in India by FY25, from 8 per cent now, an ICRA report had said. According to the rating agency, the penetration is estimated to rise to 35-40 per cent by FY30 as the product gains more acceptance and financing-related challenges subside.
Bajaj auto has a 76 per cent share in the three-wheeler market as of Q3 FY23. However, it lacked an electric product in its portfolio to compete with rival Mahindra & Mahindra, which is now the market leader in the electric three-wheeler segment.
Bajaj Auto will implement a price hike on its vehicle offerings in April but does not foresee a hit on the demand.
“We are looking not just at the OBD 2 norms but also checking the expected raw material cost increases. The prices will go up but I do not expect the demand to be hurt. It will not impact the top half of the segment; even in the bottom half, it will have a very marginal impact,” Sharma said.