Two-and-three wheeler manufacturer Bajaj Auto Limited announced that it will invest ₹300 crore ($40 million) on a new electric vehicle plant in Akurdi, Pune. This facility will have a production capacity of 5,00,000 EVs per year. The unit, which is spread over an area of half a million square feet, will employ nearly 800 people. This location is also the home of Bajaj’s original Chetak scooter factory.
“In 2001, Bajaj 2.0 took off on the roaring Pulsar. In 2021, Bajaj 3.0 has 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 EVs for sustainable urban mobility is an idea whose time may finally have come,” Rajiv Bajaj, managing director, Bajaj Auto, said.
The company further added that in addition to the declared investment, more vendors will join in to further supply ₹250 crore ($33 million) of investment. The first vehicle from this unit is expected to roll out by June 2022.
The first vehicle from this unit is expected to roll out by June 2022. The new EV manufacturing unit at Akurdi is co-located with Bajaj Auto’s state-of-the-art R&D centre to foster greater collaboration, leading to faster time-to-market, the company said in a statement.
Bajaj currently produces around 1,000 units of the Chetak EV scooter a month.
Several automakers in India, including Bajaj, have approved the incorporation of wholly-owned subsidiaries to venture into the manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicles. Other automakers include Hero MotoCorp and TVS Motors. Hero plans to build its EVs at its Chittoor facility in Andhra Pradesh, reports say. The company is working across the entire EV ecosystem, from battery technology and battery management systems, to powertrain, telematics, analytics and diagnostics and charging infrastructure. The EVs will be under Hero’s Emerging Mobility Business Unit (EMBU), which plans to launch the first EV by March 2022. In September, TVS bought 80 per cent in EGO Movement, a Swiss e-bike company, for $17.9 million to expand its presence in developed markets. The group has tied up with BMW Motorrad to co-develop new platforms and future technologies, say reports.