Bajaj Auto, a prominent player in India’s motorcycle industry, is poised to revolutionize the market with the introduction of a new series of CNG-powered motorcycles by FY25, designed to seamlessly switch between petrol and CNG fuels.
The anticipation surrounding these innovative motorcycles reached new heights as Bajaj Auto showcased the prototype at the prestigious 2024 Bharat Mobility Global Expo, currently underway at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
Breaking away from convention, Bajaj Auto revealed plans to create a dedicated sub-brand for their upcoming CNG bikes. Rakesh Sharma, the Executive Director at Bajaj Auto, emphasized the uniqueness of this venture, disclosing that these motorcycles would be launched under an entirely new brand. Although priced higher than their traditional petrol counterparts, the increased cost is justified by the intricate manufacturing process. The CNG motorcycles boast a distinct fuel tank design to accommodate both petrol and CNG fuel options.
Sharma remained tight-lipped about whether the forthcoming models would be entirely new or modified versions of existing ones. However, he shed light on Bajaj Auto’s strategic approach, concentrating on a diverse range of CNG-powered motorcycles across various segments. This move is aimed at catering to the preferences of fuel economy-conscious consumers across India.
Intriguingly, Bajaj Auto is not limiting itself to a singular vehicle launch. Instead, it envisions a comprehensive portfolio of CNG motorcycles. Sharma elaborated on this strategy, stating, “It will not be only one vehicle but a range of vehicles across segments. We will fill up the portfolio, we may not present it in one go, but the idea is to have a portfolio of CNG motorcycles.”
Highlighting the need for policy support, Sharma advocated for a lower GST rate on CNG vehicles compared to their petrol counterparts. He suggested a revised GST rate ranging between 5% (aligned with EVs) and 12% (reflecting petrol two-wheelers) to enhance affordability for both companies and customers.
While Sharma refrained from providing specific sales projections or price ranges for the CNG motorcycles, Bajaj Auto’s ambitious foray into the CNG two-wheeler market signals a paradigm shift in the industry, promising eco-friendly and economically viable options for Indian consumers.