1. Bajaj Auto to do a Tesla for smart cities in India? Rajiv Bajaj gung-ho

Bajaj Auto to do a Tesla for smart cities in India? Rajiv Bajaj gung-ho

Bajaj Auto is gearing up to meet challenges in the mobility space. Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj said the company is working on a new initiative around the concept of urban mobility.

By: | Pune | Published: July 28, 2016 6:22 AM
Auto sector These ideas were presented to the board at the meeting held in Pune on Wednesday.

Bajaj Auto is gearing up to meet challenges in the mobility space. Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj said the company is working on a new initiative around the concept of urban mobility. He alluded to doing something for emerging markets like what Tesla Motors has done for the developed world, and how Bajaj Auto is best placed to achieve it.

These ideas were presented to the board at the meeting held in Pune on Wednesday. Bajaj said the board was appreciative and supportive of the new initiatives but for competitive reasons, he could not share much of it at this moment. He said these initiatives would take time to develop but they are offering a promising future.

Bajaj said, “Our cities are stressed in terms of transportation with congestion and accidents”. He said one part of the answer was good public transport, but that was not their business. They will be focusing on personal transportation for cities for the future, which does not exist today and this means smart, clean and efficient vehicles. Bajaj said what was needed was transportation that was very clean, cheap, green and also very chic, which people will find irresistible. “Can someone create for emerging markets at affordable price points a kind of smart, clean, efficient vehicles that Tesla, for example, is creating for the developed world?” Bajaj told company shareholders at the AGM in Pune on Wednesday.

Every company is trying to do this and everybody is trying to develop these kinds of cute, clean, green vehicle. Bajaj said the problem with electric vehicles was that everyone thinks they can also do it, but it is not that simple. Two criteria are very important — first, the base vehicle must be very light, as it was not easy to electrify a car, truck or bus as it demanded a lot from the battery, he said. And the second is to have volumes to bring the cost down to a level where people could afford it, especially in our kind of economies, he said. “I think we are best placed because of our motorcycles, 2-wheelers and quadri-cycle. Bajaj Auto is very well-placed with these two things in our favour,” the Bajaj MD said.

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