Quadricycles for personal use get government’s green signal

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 23, 2018 Published on November 23, 2018

The Bajaj Auto's RE60 ‘Qute’

Quadricycles can now be bought for personal usage, with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways notifying insertion of the item ‘Quadricycle’ as a ‘non-transport’ vehicle under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988.

“A quadricycle is a vehicle of the size of a three-wheeler but with four-tyres and is fully covered like a car. It has an engine like that of a three-wheeler. This makes it a cheap and safe mode of transport for last-mile connectivity,” a government notification said on Friday.

Though the government permitted the use of quadricycles for commercial purpose in June, the latest notification opens the door for their use for personal purpose.

Bajaj Auto is the only company that makes the vehicle named ‘Qute’, which it exports to countries like Turkey.

The company has had faced stiff resistance in its attempt get the category notified under the Motor Vehicles Act, with several PILs filed against the introduction of quadricycles.

Companies such as Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors also have plans to launch such vehicles.

Conflicting stance

However, according to analysts, the introduction of such category also raises a lot of questions about the government’s thought process. On the one hand, it is talking about road safety and the need for environment-friendly vehicles and therefore stressing on features such as ABS and airbags, and on the other, it is promoting vehicles like quadricycles which do not have such safety mechanisms, they point out.

“I don’t think a consumer will buy a quadricycle for personal use as these vehicles have low power; he will likely upgrade to other options in the passenger cars segment,” said a Delhi-based analyst.

However, quadricycles may signal the beginning of a new a era in public transportation as currently three-wheelers remain a highly unsafe mode for commuting, he said.

He added that there is a strong possibility that the shift to quadricycles may happen if the vehicles get preferential tax treatment or if the rules are relaxed, particularly for the electric/hybrid variants.

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Published on November 23, 2018
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