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Quadricycle gets okay

Green signal

New Delhi, Feb. 10: Bajaj Auto’s plans for the RE60 quadricycle — a motorised four-wheeler that are smaller than cars and driven by less powerful engines — received a boost today, with the law ministry giving an in-principle approval to these classes of vehicles whose compactness allows for good manoeuvrability on crowded Indian streets.

The RE60 has a mileage of 35 km per litre and can run up speeds of up to 70 km per hour. The vehicle will be used for commercial purposes only. Not only Bajaj but also Piaggio and the Mahindras are keen on the segment, which falls somewhere between an auto-rickshaw and a car.

Top officials said a notification allowing quadricycles would come out within a few months.

Bajaj has not been able to start the production of the RE60 as it was awaiting the government’s approval recognising quadricycles as a new vehicle category. The RE60 was showcased at the auto expo here.

In December, the road ministry had approved quadricycles, and it was supposed to be vetted by the law ministry.

Bajaj Auto officials had recently met representatives of the Bengal government, which plans to order around 2,000 quadricycles. The company plans to roll out 5,000 units per month of the vehicle from its Aurangabad plant.

“We have been in touch with various state governments and they have all shown keenness to introduce the quadricycle,” managing director Rajiv Bajaj said.

Some maintain that the introduction of the quadricycles will not reduce the importance of three-wheelers as a mode of transport.

“Even if quadricycles are introduced it will not be able to phase out three-wheelers as it sells in not only cities but interiors as well. However, we have the technical knowhow and the technology to churn out quadricycles and we will do so when the demand arises,” Piaggio Vehicles chairman Ravi Chopra said.

 
 
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