Bajaj Auto to launch revamped Autorickshaw range in 2013 as the RE60 Quadricycle remains stuck in regulatory impasse
In the next few months, Bajaj Auto will unveil a brand new range of three wheelers, popularly known as AutoRickshaws in India. These autorickshaws will be based on an all new platform which will eventually underpin the entire range of three wheelers build by the Indian automaker. Bajaj Auto sells both passenger and load carrying versions of its three wheelers. The first of the revamped Bajaj Autorickhaws will begin arriving in 2013 and by the middle of 2014, the entire line up of Bajaj Three Wheelers could be shifted to the new platform.
Apart from selling the Autorickshaw in India, Bajaj Auto exports these three wheeled contraptions to many countries across the world, from the neighbouring Sri Lanka to as far as Colombia in Latin America. The Three Wheelers that Bajaj Auto builds is produced at the automaker’s Aurangabad plant, in Maharashtra. The autorickshaw is capable of seating three passengers while the driver sits in a separate cabin at front. The easy maneuverability and compact dimensions of the autorickshaw has meant that it is an extremely efficient and quick means of transport in crowded Indian cities.
However, the three wheeled design of the autorickshaw makes it susceptible to overturning, a reason why this popular means of transport in developing countries is avoided like the plague in the developed world. Bajaj Auto showcased the next step in urban transportation in the form of the the RE60 Quadricycle. First unveiled a day before the 2012 Indian Auto Expo, the RE60 is ready for production but Bajaj Auto will not be able to sell it in India in the near future as the Indian government is yet to come up with a Quadricycle policy that will allow vehicles like the RE60(Positioned between a 3 wheeler and a car) to be sold in the country.
Given that the RE60 costs lesser than an autorickshaw, is safer and more stable due to the four wheeled design and is also more fuel efficient, we wonder what’s stopping the Indian government from coming up with a Quadricycle policy that can eventually help replace the autorickshaws on Indian roads. Bajaj Auto will soon begin exporting the RE60 to countries across the world. While the RE60 that will be exported will be petrol powered, CNG powered versions are in the works. Also, a load carrying version of the RE60 is expected to be ready for sale in the future.