Bajaj believes that Qute will be a cleaner, greener and cheaper alternative to a conventional car.
With the government now allowing the personal use of a quadricycle, the long-awaited Bajaj Qute can finally become a credible alternative to entry-level cars. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has inserted quadricycle in non-transport vehicles under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988.
A quadricycle is a vehicle having a size of a three-wheeler but with an additional wheel. It is fully covered like a car and has an engine of a three-wheeler (a motorcycle in the case of the Qute). It makes it cheaper than a conventional car and safer than a two-wheeler.
Earlier in June, the government had recognized ‘quadricycle’ as a new category of vehicles and approved it for plying on the roads. The government had issued a final notification on the standards of quadricycle such as weight, emissions and safety features.
Bajaj Auto is presently the only company to produce quadricycles. The automaker had showcased its quadricycle in 2012 and later named it ‘Qute’. It could not be launched in India because the industrial bodies went to the supreme court seeking a bar on a vehicle that wasn’t recognised by the road and transport ministry owing to safety concerns (although it was mainly for competition reasons).
With a lack of a clear-cut policy, Bajaj began exporting the Qute to other countries where it was well received. The vehicle is powered by a 216cc engine and weighs less than 400 kgs. It has a top speed of 70 km/hr. Bajaj is likely to make only minor tweaks to the non-transport version which is expected to be launched in February 2019.
In 2017, after years of hurdles, Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of Bajaj Auto criticised the government for not encouraging innovation. He further added that if innovation was to go by the regulations of the government, it will not be the case of ‘Made In India’ but ‘Mad In India’. The Qute was not banned in other countries where it was sold. “India is the only country that has not given us the permission to sell this vehicle.” Bajaj had said.
With the Qute, Bajaj is aiming to shake up the entry-level car segment. After the approval of quadricycles, Mahindra and Tata are also looking for a mobility solution that would enhance efficiency, safety and connectivity.
Mahindra showcased a quadricycle at the 2018 Auto Expo by the name C101 while Tata has hinted at entering into the segment. Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra said that majority of the concepts displayed at the Auto Expo including the C101 will go into production in the next 2-3 years. Tata was also planning to enter the quadricycle segment but a top official confirmed it was not the priority for the brand as of now.
Bajaj Qute Personal Vehicle
– Quadricycles can now be used for personal mobility
– Bajaj, the pioneer of quadricycles in India believes that Qute has a lot of potential
– Auto majors like Mahindra and Tata have shown interest in the segment