Sri Lanka’s David Pieris Motor Company Ltd (DPMC), the sole distributors for India’s Bajaj-brand of vehicles is planning to officially launch three-wheelers in Sri Lanka
According to a company official, the vehicle which made headlines in both Sri Lanka and India in the last few years over safety concerns has finally received the green light from Sri Lanka’s Motor Traffic Department and quality inspection authorities.
“We have registered four vehicles in Sri Lanka at the moment for testing purposes. However, we have not yet opened commercial sales so far,” DPMC’s Lead Internal and External Communications, Dasun Edirisinghe said.
According to him, the quadricycle which was previously named as RE60 will not be marketed in Sri Lanka as an alternative to three-wheelers to run taxi services but as an affordable four wheel private vehicle for the family. The Indian quadricycle is set to be competitively priced at under Rs. 1 million in Sri Lanka, Business Observer learns.
“Details on prices are not yet finalized. This will be an ideal vehicle for someone, perhaps a first time buyer, who needs a four-wheeler but who is unable to afford a car,” Weerasinghe said. The Bajaj Qute runs on a 216.6 cc engine with an ability to produce 13.2 PS power and a top speed of 70 kilometers per hour. The engine will also have CNG and LPG compliant variants, Indian media reports said. It drives a six-speed sequential shift transmission, similar to those found in motorcycles.
Capable of carrying four passengers, the Qute claims to have a mileage of 36 km per litre and emits 66 grams of carbon dioxide per km. Bajaj claims these figures are higher than those seen with a usual three-wheeler, making its quadricycle more economical and environment-friendly. On the safety front, the vehicle which comes with seat belts for both drivers and passengers meets the European Standards and Guidelines of Quadricycle for quality and design.
Bajaj Qute which comes out of the production facility in Aurangabad in India is presently being exported to countries in Europe, Africa, South America, and rest of Asia. The vehicle initially developed by combined efforts of Bajaj and Renault as RE60 under their Ultra Low Cost car project was first unveiled at the Delhi Expo as RE60 in 2012.
Motorized quadricycles are small and fuel-efficient vehicles intended to be a small urban vehicle fit for crowded streets. According to recent research in Europe, motorized quadricycles continue to be an attractive vehicle segment, especially among urbanites.
“Many consumers in European countries such as Germany, France and the UK, among others, are opting for electric quadricycle over compact cars. In addition to this, car rental companies in Europe are providing motorized quadricycles on rent and promoting their use in the region’s automobile market,” a recent report by Persistence Market Research stated. Accordingly, Europe’s motorized quadricycles market will witness sizeable growth in France, Germany and Russia. Among European countries, France is estimated to remain dominant over the forecast period owing to increasing demand for eco-friendly small size vehicles and stringent government regulations.