Maharashtra government has issued a new electric vehicle (EV) policy
. This policy aims to make 10 percent of the new vehicle registrations under electric and have 25 percent electrification of public transport and last-mile delivery by 2025. Rakesh Sharma, Executive Director at Bajaj Auto, discussed this further.
Directionally it is the right step, he said in an interview with CNBC-TV18.
“The drift, which one gets is that the policy is quite substantive and it is building on top of central policies. It is addressing the customers; it is incentivising the production of the components in Maharashtra. All that put together will certainly contribute towards the expansion of the EV segment,” he said.
“EV segment, as a business case at this point of time, is financially unviable. This kind of support, previously the central government also upped the subsidy – all these things will contribute to mitigating the gap which is there between the cost and what is a palatable price for the customer. It will definitely go towards the expansion of the electric segment,” he added.
On Bajaj Auto’s EV plans, he stated, “We are looking at this as a tremendous opportunity for us. We are not in scooters and it gives us a very good play into the entire scooter segment.”
“We have started with Chetak and with it, our strategy is to occupy the premium end. If a customer wants to buy the best EV in terms of performance, style, convenience, the pleasure of riding then he should move towards Chetak. We want to occupy the core position and the early indication from Chetak’s performance over the last one year – wherever we have done it – is that it is moving in the right direction,” he further mentioned.
Bajaj Auto wants to expand its geographical footprint with Chetak, he stated.
The Chetak ramp-up will be seen from September-October onwards.
The company is also collaborating with partner KTM to look at the electric play in performance biking.
By the end of this calendar year, the company will be able to present its three-wheeler EV to the market, he shared.
On the chip shortage issue, Sharma said that it has eases from February levels. However, it continues to be a big issue for performance bikes.
For the full interview, watch the accompanying video.