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Rajiv Bajaj takes a dig at EV startups; how should we take it?

Story Highlights
  • Bajaj was speaking at the launch of e-Chetak scooter. A Chetak minus Bajaj Auto is a new initiative under the two-wheeler maker’s strategy to become a specialist of niche products.

Source | | Nabeel A Khan

New Delhi: Rajiv Bajaj, the managing director of Bajaj Auto, known for his strong and unbridled opinion, on Wednesday, took a dig at the influx of electric vehicle startups, questioning their core competencies to build vehicles.

Speaking at the launch of electric Chetak (e-Chetak), Rajiv Bajaj said, “I am surprised that battery, motor makers have launched electric vehicles and what surprised me even more is that some who were importing TV, fridge, mobiles have also started selling electric scooters. Whereas some other failed automakers have launched products in electric scooter space and some other two-wheeler makers went down south and invested in electric two-wheeler startups as if it was not their job. But we at Bajaj are engineers and we make our own things,” he asserted.

Interestingly, it is to be noted that India’s largest two-wheeler maker was one of the first investors in electric scooter startup -Ather Energy. Although, the company later set up its own dedicated EV division.

However, Bajaj’s point of view cannot be ignored completely, as many of these startups have not gone beyond a minor modification and assembly of the imported kit. On the other hand, Bajaj Auto which had scooters in its DNA, aims to be the first among traditional two-wheeler makers to roll out electric scooter. This could also be perceived that Bajaj might be seeing the new challengers as threat.

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