The term quadricycles is often misunderstood. First up, quadricycles aren’t cycles with four wheels. Instead they are quite closer to being cars. In 2018, after a long-fought battle in which Bajaj Auto was at the forefront, the Indian government finally brought in the quadricycle category. The quadricycle is one wherein the vehicle is almost the same size as a 3-wheeler rickshaw but then has four tyres at four corners of the chassis. The length, width and height of this category of vehicles cannot be more than three-metre, 1.5-metre and 2.5-metre respectively. Both private as well as commercial operators can use it. However, till now there was no clarity on whether these also have to be BS6. In a recent statement issued by the GoI, the quadricycles or L7 category vehicles also have to be BS6-compliant.
At present, in India there is only the Bajaj Qute that was commercially available. The Qute used to come with a 220cc, single-cylinder, DTS-i engine. One can also order it with a CNG engine. However, one cannot have both petrol and CNG in one Qute vehicle. In the petrol guise, the engine makes 13hp and 18.9Nm while with the CNG, it produces 10hp and 16Nm. There is a 5-speed sequential shift transmission on offer.
Top speed of the vehicle, as per the quadricycle norms, is capped at 70kmph. As for the Mahindra Atom, it was showcased at the Auto Expo. While powertrain details weren’t released by Mahindra, it did say that there will be 4G connectivity and the Atom will be an electric-only model. So, the BS6 emission regulation will not affect the vehicle. It will be made at the company’s Bengaluru plant. Given that it was supposed to be launched in the third quarter of this year, the plan could be delayed. The coronavirus has put a stop on many a plan and we believe the Atom launch will be delayed as well.
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