Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto slandered the EV startups and the many fire incidents in electric vehicles that have been a matter of the moment for quite sometime. He took this forward questioning the ill-prepared companies who are simply rushing to jump onto the bandwagon.
At the inaugural event of Chetak at Akurda, a wholly-owned Bajaj Auto subsidiary, Rajiv Bajaj being very straightforward criticised the newcomers with zero knowledge in the EV business, but still trying to get into the space. “The issue is not the fire itself. These incidents happened in the vehicles with internal combustion engines as well. The issue is the underlying process of the manufacturing,” he said.
“What concerns me more is the environment that has promoted this mad whole rush. Why are people who have no business being in the business of EVs trying to get into the business? This must be fixed. Maybe, if I can say so, the relevant authorities in the government have diluted norms for EVs. EVs flooding the market may partly be because of the incentives as well. Under the guise of low-speed vehicles, you can bring any chunk of vehicles from anywhere and put it on the road. You will not have these scooters catching fire? What do you expect,” said Bajaj.
Mentioning the company’s vision and commitment, he talked about the focused, integrated, and agile facility to power the Chetak project which will be commissioned in June. “Chetak is the original ‘Make in India’ superstar, which won hearts worldwide. True to those designed-and-built-in-India roots, the electric avatar of Chetak is born out of our strong R&D, deep understanding of products and consumers, and decades of manufacturing expertise,” he added.
The iconic Chetak scooter was reborned in an electric avatar in October 2019 and since then the company claims to have sold over 14,000 units and has received more than 16,000 bookings so far.
Chetak Technology (CTL) is spread across a 6.5-acre and the plant is designed to cater to a 5 lakh two-wheeler unit capacity for domestic as well as the export market. The OEM and its vendor partners will invest around Rs 750 crore in the upcoming EV manufacturing facility.