Sector: CNG

Bajaj readies CNG-powered quadricycle

According to a report by Autocar India, Bajaj – India's second biggest motorcycle manufacturer, is currently in the process of testing a CNG-powered variant of its RE60 four-wheeler. Affordable and cheap to run? Who wouldn't want that?
Bajaj RE60© Indian Autos BlogNo more an autorickshaw, not yet a car - the RE60 in all its minuscule glory

Bajaj Auto has been developing the affordable quadricycle for a few years now. The prototype was officially unveiled at the Delhi Motor Show in 2012. Currently pre-production examples of the methane-powered RECNG variant are being tested. They prove to be very economical, covering up to 40 km on a single kilogram of CNG (2,5 kg or 3,34 m3 per 100 km).

This is attributed to the vehicle's low gross weight (as low as 400 kg) and the tiny engine used to move it around. Specifically, the RE60 is powered by a water-cooled, fuel-injected DTS-i unit boasting a capacity of 216 cm3. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and the entire drivetrain is located in the rear, driving rear wheels. CO2 emissions are low, too, at 60 g/km.

Indian government has classified the Bajaj RE60 as a quadricycle since it's unable to reach more than 90 km/h – a maximum speed necessary for the vehicle to hit so that it can be classified as a car. Originally the RE60 was set to enter production in October 2014, but Bajaj had to address several lawsuits related to the quadricycle's safety (filed by Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors) delayed the process. The company is still waiting for the Supreme Court's final decision. Meanwhile, rivaling manufacturers (including Mahindra) develop their own models to compete with the RE60.

We are not trying to make a car but a four wheeler meant to ferry people in cities. It is not an incremental but dramatic improvement over a three wheeler. There are over 5 million Bajaj three wheelers in the country today. Thats the market we are aiming for.

Rajiv Bajaj, managing director, BAL


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Piotr Złoty
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