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Bajaj Launches World’s First CNG Motorbike


Tue 09 Jul 2024 | 04:52 PM
By Ahmad El-Assasy

On Friday, Pune headquartered Bajaj Auto launched the world’s first CNG powered motorcycle. Priced between Rs 95,000 and Rs 1,10,000, the bike will be available across the country in a phased manner.

Union minister of Road Transport NitinGadkari who unveiled the bike talked about the Centre’s commitment to green and clean technology. Gadkari said India’s automobile industry is the third largest in the world. 

“Our automobile industry contributes around Rs 3 lakh crore in terms of GST and employs around 4 crore people,” he said. Gadkari talked about upcoming projects which will use rice straw for production of ethanol.

Rajiv Bajaj, managing director of Bajaj Auto, while speaking about the launch of the bike, said it follows the trend of freedom, alluding to the fact that the bike runs on CNG making it pollution-free.

Asked about whether the bike would eat into its existing market share of petrol bikes, Bajaj replied in the negative. 

Bajaj, who while talking about electric vehicles (EVs) said that despite government subsidies, penetration of EVs in Indian markets will amount to about 5 per cent in two wheelers and just about 1 to 2 percent in four wheelers. 

“This can be attributed to lack of customer confidence in the product and unfamiliarity with technology,” he said. Bajaj also said it did not help that incidents of fire were reported in cheap Chinese imports which had shaken the markets. 

The company had launched an EV in 2022. The company plans to manufacture 10,000 bikes per month which would be taken up in the months to come.

Called Freedom, the CNG powered bike has a 2-kg CNG cylinder and a 2-litre petrol tank. The bike, which has a 125 cc engine, has the longest seat length and state of the art technology. The bike, which can switch to petrol when gasoline runs low, has been through 11 safety tests. 

It will be available in Indian markets in a phased manner. The company will look into exports to countries like Peru,Columbia, Egypt, Tanzania, Bangladesh and Tanzania.