Rajiv Bajaj questioned the processes involved in manufacturing electric scooters from startups that have caught fire in recent months
Bajaj Auto’s Managing Director, Rajiv Bajaj, has taken a dig at the EV startups and the rather disturbing EV fire incidents we have seen in recent months across the country. He questioned the processes involved in manufacturing such electric scooters and the lack of experience amongst the myriad of electric vehicle brands that have grown immensely in numbers lately.
He said, “The issue is not the fire itself. This happened in the vehicles with internal combustion engines as well. The issue is the underlying process of the manufacturing,” Electric vehicles from startups coming into the market thick and fast could be due to the attractive central and state incentive schemes to promote green mobility.
But in more ways than one, the strategy has backfired (no pun intended). According to Bajaj, “what concerns me more is the environment that has promoted this mad whole rush. Why are people who have no business to be in the business of EVs trying to get into the business? This must be fixed. Maybe, if I can say so, the relevant authorities in the government have diluted norms for EVs.”
Most of the electric scooters from startups have their internal and critical battery components sourced from elsewhere and Rajiv Bajaj made a valid point regarding this matter: “Under the guise of low-speed vehicles you can bring any chunk of vehicles from anywhere and put it on the road. You will not have these scooters catching fire? What do you expect,”
He was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of Bajaj Auto’s subsidiary Chetak Technology Ltd’s EV production facility at Akurdi. It is kind of a homecoming for Bajaj Auto as the iconic Chetak was rolled out from Akurdi back in the ’70s. The Chetak made a surprising comeback with an electric heart in October 2019 and is sold in nearly 30 cities across India currently.
Chetak Technology and its vendor partners will pump in nearly Rs. 750 crore into the new manufacturing base and the capacity will be expanded to roll out five lakh electric two-wheelers per annum. It is spread over half a million sq. ft and is expected to give employment to 11,000 people.