NEW DELHI, MAY 4 : The country’s first LPG-run motorcycle is around the corner with Bajaj Auto giving the bi-fuel bikes, built on its Platina model, to customers in cities like Sangli and Ahmedabad for testing.
The LPG bike is being tested and sports a 4-litre LPG cylinder apart from having a 10-litre tank for petrol, a company source told FE here. ‘‘We have given the LPG-run bikes to customers in Ahmedabad and Sangli and the response from them is very good, especially as it increases the operating cost of the vehicles by as much as 35-40%,’’ the source said.
The movement to bi-fuel platform is something what the company has been talking for some time and Bajaj is now working on tuning the price of the vehicle before it is made commercially available in cities that have auto LPG-fueling centres. The 4-litre LPG cyclinder gives a mileage of 200 kms at one go, making it an adequate vehicle for in-city driving.
‘‘As per our cost structure, the overall cost of the vehicle goes up as much as Rs 9,000 if an LPG engine is offered on the bikes. However, the market feedback that we have got is that the price should not be higher than Rs 5,000-6,000,’’ the source said.
Bajaj Auto, which is believed to be sourcing some of the components for the LPG kits from Italian suppliers, is negotiating with the vendors to rationalise costs, especially as the demand for the vehicle may increase once it is commercially available.
‘‘Price rationalisation is something that we are working on,’’ the source said.
The source said the company had incorporated ‘‘requisite safety features’’ in the LPG bikes, especially to take care of issues like leakage of gas or cylinder overheating.