Five months after it announced a new subsidiary for electric and hybrid vehicles in the two-, three- and light four-wheeler categories, Bajaj Auto has announced an investment of Rs 300 crore and commenced work at a brand-new manufacturing faciiity at Akurdi, near Pune, for manufacturing EVs. The site is the location of the original and iconic Chetak scooter.
The company says the new facility will have a production capacity of 500,000 EVs per annum.
Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto said, “In 2001 Bajaj 2.0 took off on the roaring Pulsar, in 2021 Bajaj 3.0 arrives on the charming Chetak. Going forward, for the Bajaj portfolio, except for implementing one state-of-the-art ICE platform that is currently under development, all our R&D drivetrain resources are now laser focused on creating EV solutions for the future. This alignment reflects our belief that light electric vehicles for sustainable urban mobility is an idea whose time may finally have come. Thus, this investment at Akurdi completes the virtuous cycle of hi-tech R&D competencies, high-efficiency engineering capabilities, world class supply chain synergies, and global distribution network which should leapfrog us into a market leading position in EVs in India and overseas.”
Cutting-edge manufacturing systems
Bajaj Auto says the new unit will have cutting-edge robotic and automated manufacturing systems for everything including logistics and material handling, fabrication and painting, assembly and quality assurance. The systems have been designed for flexible product mix, while keeping in mind the best worker ergonomics and maximum process efficiency.
The facility will be spread over half-a-million square feet and will employ around 800 personnel. The investments made by Bajaj Auto will be supplemented by a number of vendors, who will invest a further Rs 250 crore (USD 33 Mn). The first vehicle from this unit is expected to roll out by June 2022.
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This new EV manufacturing unit at Akurdi is co-located with Bajaj Auto’s state-of-the-art R&D centre to foster greater collaboration, leading to faster time-to-market. It should transform Bajaj Auto’s Akurdi facility into a hub for design, development and manufacturing of a complete range of electric vehicles.
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