Bajaj and KTM co-developing electric two wheeler platform – Duke electric?
The first product from this platform will be ready in 2022.
With the government mulling a massive push towards electrifying most of the two wheeler market, it has become imperative for all the major players to allot significant resources in developing new technologies and compatible platforms. Bajaj Auto has already started testing its electric scooter which is expected to be launched next year under the Urbanite brand. It is also not surprising that the automaker is working with its Austrian subsidiary KTM on new electric vehicle platforms.
Speaking to Economic Times, Bajaj Auto’s executive director, Rakesh Sharma, confirmed that the company is developing electric vehicle prototypes across different segments. The official also confirmed that Bajaj is working in association with KTM to develop a common 48V electric vehicle platform with power outputs ranging from 3 to 10 KW.
The products developed on this common platform will be made in India for global consumption. The new EV architecture in question will underpin an array of scooters and mopeds (both Bajaj and KTM branded). While EVs under Bajaj umbrella would cater to the mass market and mid-premium segments, the KTM derivatives would be equipped to play in the premium segments with primary focus on export markets.
The co-developed EV platform is slated to spawn its first product in 2022. Production will take place at Bajaj’s Pune facility. The Indian government is contemplating a ban on sub-150 cc scooters and motorcycles by April 2025 in a bid to expedite adoption of electric vehicles. If this draft sees the light of day, the upcoming EV platform would put Bajaj and KTM in an advantageous spot.
KTM first hinted at its interest in the electric scooter segment way back in 2013 when it unveiled the E-Speed concept at Tokyo Motor Show. If the concept is anything to go by, an electric scooter from KTM will be properly premium with WP suspension system, front and rear disc brakes with dual-channel ABS, generously proportioned tyres and a radical styling.
It is to be noted here that back in May 2017, KTM Duke based electric motorcycle prototype was first spied. Bajaj will be counting on the Indian government’s FAME-II subsidy scheme to arrive at attractive price points for its upcoming range of electric two wheelers. Come next year, Ather Energy will have a formidable challenger.