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Automotive Product Finder Magazine | Three-wheelers will be moving towards clean mobility
Three-wheelers will be moving towards clean mobility
In India, electric three-wheeler market is on a growth path
Government allows EV sale and registration without batteries
While the electric three-wheelers (Li-Ion battery) are at earlier stages of adoption in India, with appropriate policy support, infrastructure creation and incentivisation, EVs will form an important part of the industry, explains
Prashant R Ahir
, DGM (Business Planning & C.I), Intracity Business Unit, Bajaj Auto Limited.
What is the current landscape of three-wheelers in India?
Domestic three-wheeler (3W) market is a fragmented market. This fragmentation is largely due to availability of different dominant fuels in a different regions & states. Domestic three wheelers industry saw sales of 6.35 lakh vehicles in FY17-18 (growth of 24.19 per cent over FY16-17). Despite a higher sales base of last financial year, YTD till December 2018 saw industry sales growth of around 17 per cent and we expect the industry to end FY2018-19 with overall sales growth of around 10 per cent over last financial year. We will continue to lead the industry sales with very dominant and undisputed market leadership in petrol and alternate fuel segment of three wheelers. FY19-20 will also see increased sales momentum for our quadricycle ‘Qute'.
Three-wheelers have been conventionally linked to creating pollution. How are you improving that?
All our 3Ws are meeting existing BS VI emission norms with fundamental changes in engine design and combustion, without huge dependence on additional equipment to treat the exhaust. Data will show that “Three wheelers have been conventionally linked to creating pollution” is only a perception. We are ready with BS VI emission compliant vehicles much ahead of regulatory deadline of March-2020 and are about to launch the same. We are also readying our e-three wheelers.
Are three wheelers gradually moving toward clean mobility? If yes then how?
With compliance to BS VI emissions norms and introduction of EVs, 3Ws will be moving towards clean mobility. With increased government thrust on CNG availability through 9th and 10th CGD bidding rounds of PNGRB, there will be higher demand for CNG 3Ws in districts getting covered under CGD, compared to other fuel variants.
Tell us in detail how EVs will drive the 3W segment.
3Ws are expected to be one of the early adopters of electric mobility given e-rickshaws have a head start in this space. While the e-three wheelers (Li-Ion battery) are at earlier stages of adoption in India, with appropriate policy support, infrastructure creation and incentivisation, EVs will form an important part of the industry. There is a need for a long-term and comprehensive policy framework covering all stakeholders that allows for continuity and attracts desired investments required for EV deployment. Alignment between Central and state policies will also be required. Currently Maharashtra and Karnataka have already released the EV policies while Delhi, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh are in the process of policy finalisation.
What are the types of path breaking technologies that are driving this sector?
One would be the quadricycle category.Qute is the first four-wheeler designed for first and last mile connectivity. It’s the first Indian made quadricycle to get the ARAI approval after meeting the Indian quadricycle norms, which are more stringent than European quadricycle norms. It has also got the European WVTA (Whole Vehicle Type Approval) certification awarded by the RDW Netherlands. Qute has lowest CO2 emissions for any vehicle on four wheels. The other one is compliance to BS6 emission norms. BS6 emission norms will force OEMs to bring in advanced technologies in this sector.
What are your future plans for the company in the three-wheeler segment?
Launch of BS6 emission compliant vehicles, introduction of EVs (e-autos and e-rickshaws) and increase our market share in the goods carrier segment of 3Ws is what we are looking at. We have increased our horizon from 3Ws to intracity space, and will also launch Qute as an appropriate solution for intracity travel.
Tell us your thoughts on the prospect of the market in the future.
3Ws will continue to be affordable means of first and last mile connectivity in India. Electric mobility, BS6 compliance and CNG infrastructure push will be upgrading the industry towards cleaner mobility. Quadricycle will form all together a new segment in the intra city space as a better alternative for intra city commute.
Domestic Three Wheeler
Prashant R Ahir
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