Launch of Bajaj, KTM electric motorcycles will take couple of years at least, as the plan is still in initial stages
Electric two-wheeler segment is expected to witness significant growth in coming years. While bulk of sales will comprise affordable, entry-level electric two-wheelers, there will be plenty of scope for lifestyle products as well. It’s the latter segment that Bajaj Auto and KTM are now looking to target.
According to Executive Director of Bajaj Rakesh Sharma, the company is currently working with KTM to identify an appropriate platform for the new electric motorcycles. KTM does have an EV portfolio in international markets, but it’s limited to electric cycles and off-road e-bikes. It’s apparent that Bajaj and KTM will have to develop a new platform from scratch, which is likely to take some time.
Bajaj, KTM electric motorcycles
Working together since 2007 on multiple projects, Bajaj and KTM will further solidify their partnership by foraying into high-end electric motorcycle segment. Bajaj currently manufactures KTM and Husqvarna motorcycles, as part of that partnership. These are sold in domestic market and also exported to overseas locations.
Along with premium electric motorcycles, Bajaj is also likely to develop affordable EV products in collaboration with KTM. As part of its EV push, Bajaj has built a new manufacturing facility in Maharashtra. This is operational and caters exclusively to manufacturing electric two-wheelers. Chetak electric scooters have started to roll out of this facility.
Bajaj, KTM high-end electric motorcycles and other upcoming EVs will be manufactured at this new facility. It is a state-of-the-art facility and can be used to manufacture a wide range of electric two-wheelers. It has peak manufacturing capacity of 5 lakh units per annum. The facility also has dedicated design and R&D centres. It has been developed at an investment of around Rs 750 crore.
Bajaj Auto has filed trademarks for multiple new names recently. These include Dynamo, Tecnica, Technik, Pulsar Elan, Pulsar Eleganza, etc. It is likely that Bajaj could use either of these names for their upcoming electric motorcycle. KTM has already confirmed working on a Duke based electric motorcycle.
Chetak expansion plans
Most of the leading electric two-wheeler manufacturers currently have a limited number of products on offer. This applies to OEMs like Ampere, Ola, Ather, Revolt Motors and TVS. Bajaj currently offers only Chetak electric scooter that has been registering consistent sales every month. Sales could have been higher, but it hasn’t been possible due to global shortage of auto parts. Till date, pre-bookings for Chetak have been more than 16,000.
Bajaj will be looking to boost sales in coming months, as supply situation improves globally. The company is also working to make Chetak available across the country. As of now, Chetak is available in 27 cities. There are plans to increase this number to 100 cities in the near future. Bajaj is also working to launch multiple new electric two-wheelers over the next two years. The company has already formed a new entity named Chetak Technology to focus exclusively on development of EVs. With more products on offer, Bajaj will be able to target a larger segment of users.