Bajaj RE EV electric rickshaw has been delayed due to multiple reasons, but launch may finally come through this year
Bajaj currently leads in the three-wheeler space, with a market share of more than 70%. Bajaj RE rickshaw is preferred, as it is considered to be superior in terms of performance, durability, mileage, low maintenance, resale value and range of features.
Users buying Bajaj RE can choose from powertrain options of diesel, petrol, CNG and LPG. Prices for the petrol variant start at around Rs 2.05 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai). Upcoming Bajaj RE electric rickshaw will have a higher acquisition cost of around Rs 3.50 lakh. But users will probably gain in terms of reduced running cost.
Bajaj RE electric rickshaw features
Bajaj RE electric rickshaw has largely the same appearance as that of its ICE counterpart. It is 8.6 ft. long, 4.2 ft. wide and 5.5 ft. tall. It has a ground clearance of 170 mm. Latest spy shots are credited to Nikhil Chadwal channel.
Some key highlights include rounded front fascia, all-halogen lights, front plastic panelling, metal mudguard and R12 steel wheels. Space available is almost the same as that of Bajaj RE ICE rickshaws. The battery pack is likely to have taken much of the available cabin space.
A number of differences can be seen in the driver section, where new plastic panelling has been used. The dashboard is now larger and comes with a lockable storage compartment. Instrument cluster is now fully digital, with two dials, placed on either side of the dashboard. Users can access critical information such as battery percentage, distance travelled and distance to empty.
Bajaj RE Electric range, specs
Bajaj RE electric rickshaw will have a range of 120 km on a full charge. Battery charging time is 4 hours, but could vary based on the type of charger used. It is not yet known if a fast charging option will be available for Bajaj RE electric rickshaw. It is certainly desirable, as it will increase the rickshaw’s revenue generating potential. With fast charging, rickshaw drivers can easily charge their vehicle during their breakfast or lunch time.
Another option is to introduce a swappable battery system, which will work out even better than fast charging. But that will involve development of a large-scale network of battery swapping stations. Even if possible, such a system will take time to become a reality. One major hassle is that there’s currently not enough demand for electric rickshaws. Much of the sales still comprise ICE-powered rickshaws.
For electric rickshaws to go mainstream, special incentive programs need to be introduced. Subsidies are already available, but higher acquisition cost is still a major bottleneck. General distrust in a new system is another reason why the majority of buyers still prefer diesel, petrol and CNG rickshaws. Awareness about how electric rickshaws can increase income potential can probably help boost sales of electric three-wheelers.