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New Bajaj EV Plant Work Starts At The Site Of Iconic Chetak Scooter

Bajaj Chetak Scooter
Bajaj Chetak Scooter

EVs set to rollout by June 2022 for India and exports from new Bajaj Auto Electric Vehicle manufacturing unit at Akurdi (Pune)

Bajaj Auto has announced a new ‘Electric Vehicle’ manufacturing unit at Akurdi (Pune). EVs are set to roll out by June 2022, and will cater to the domestic market, and exports. This entails an investment of Rs 300 Cr (USD 40 Mn) to build manufacturing capacity for 5,00,000 EVs per annum. The site is the same used as the original Chetak  scooter factory.

Work at the Akurdi EV plant has now commenced, and in time, this site will generate incremental employment for 800 people. Bajaj will launch new electric scooters, motorcycles, and commercial vehicles in the future. These are expected to be built at this new plant. Next year, Bajaj will launch Chetak based Husqvarna electric scooter (spied in Pune recently). Post that, Husqvarna electric motorcycle e-pilen is also planned for launch.

New Bajaj EV Plant

Being co-located with Bajaj Auto’s Akurdi R&D centre ensures greater collaboration. The complete EV range solution ties together as a hub for design, development and manufacturing. For Bajaj, Chetak as a brand was the backbone of the manufacturer’s success for years to an end.

As such, it came as no surprise that when an electric scooter was readied for launch, the Chetak moniker was re-introduced. The name breeds familiarity, and lives on as a great identifier in the blueprint for future mobility solutions.

Rajiv Bajaj and Senior Management of Bajaj Auto at the new plant site
Rajiv Bajaj and Senior Management of Bajaj Auto at the new plant site

Akurdi EV manufacturing plant is spread over half a million sq. ft. In addition to investments made by Bajaj Auto, vendors will invest an additional Rs 250 Cr (USD 33 Mn). Akurdi EV unit functionality is enhanced through robotic and automated manufacturing systems for all processes.

This includes logistics and material handling, fabrication and painting, assembly and quality assurance. Systems are built to cater to a flexible product mix on the basis of maximum process efficiency. Systems take into account best worker ergonomics.

EV mobility and solutions

Bajaj has a unique business model that works wonders for the manufacturer. The company doesn’t sell scooters except Chetak electric scooter, which is a fairly recent launch. Its motorcycle market prowess sees exports at par with domestic market sales. And these ever-growing numbers are helped further with a small mix of CVs (auto rickshaws/tuktuks).

Rajiv Bajaj – Managing Director, Bajaj Auto Ltd. said, “In 2001 Bajaj 2.0 took off on the roaring Pulsar, in 2021 Bajaj 3.0 arrived on the charming Chetak. Going forward, for the Bajaj portfolio, except for implementing one state-of-the-art ICE platform that is currently under development, all our R&D resources are now laser focused on creating EV solutions for the future.

This alignment reflects our belief that light Electric Vehicles for sustainable urban mobility is an idea whose time may finally have come. Thus, this investment at Akurdi completes the virtuous cycle of hi-tech R&D competencies, high-efficiency engineering capabilities, world class supply chain synergies, and global distribution network which should leapfrog us into a market leading position in EVs in India and overseas.”

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