Bajaj Auto To Invest Rs 300 Crore To Make 5 Lakh EVs A Year
Bajaj Auto Ltd. will invest Rs 300 crore (about $40 million) to commence work at its new electric vehicle plant as competition accelerates in the country’s nascent but fast-growing battery-powered two-wheeler market.
The new plant, which will manufacture 5 lakh EVs a year, will be set up in Akurdi, Maharashtra, according to a company statement. Spread over half a million square feet, the factory will employ nearly 800 people.
Vendors, Bajaj Auto said, would make an additional investment of Rs 250 crore, and the first product is expected to roll out by June 2022.
“In 2001, Bajaj 2.0 took off on the roaring Pulsar. In 2021, Bajaj 3.0 arrives on the charming Chetak,” Rajiv Bajaj, managing director at Bajaj Auto, was quoted as saying in the statement. Except for implementing one state-of-the-art ICE (internal combustion engine) platform that is currently under development, he said all the company’s R&D drivetrain resources are laser-focused on creating EV solutions for the future.
According to him, the investment at Akurdi—also the site of the original Chetak scooter factory that made Bajaj Auto a household name in India—completes the “virtuous cycle of hi-tech R&D competencies, high-efficiency engineering capabilities, supply-chain synergies, and global distribution network that will leapfrog the company into a market leading position in EVs in India and overseas”.
Bajaj Auto’s investment into its EV unit comes at a time upstarts such as Ola Electric Mobility, Hero Electric and Ather Energy have already forayed. Hero MotoCorp Ltd., too, is planning to launch its first electric scooter in March.