Bajaj Auto on Wednesday said it will set up an electric vehicle manufacturing facility at Akurdi in Pune with an investment of Rs. 300 million. The facility, for which work has started, will have the capacity to produce 5,00,000 Electric Vehicles (EVs) annually and cater to both domestic and export markets, the company said in a release.
The first vehicle from the new unit, spread over five lakh square feet, is expected to be launched by June 2022. About 800 personnel will get employment in the unit. Akurdi is the site of the original Chetak scooter factory.
“In 2001, Bajaj 2.0 took off on the roaring Pulsar, in 2021, Bajaj 3.0 came on the lucrative Chetak. Moving on to the Bajaj portfolio, apart from implementing a state-of-the-art ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) platform, which is currently in development. All our R&D drive train resources are now laser focused on creating EV solutions for the future. This alignment reflects our belief that lightweight electric vehicles for sustainable urban mobility is an idea whose time may finally come, Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of Bajaj Auto said.
He also added that the investment in the Akurdi facility will complete the virtuous cycle of hi-tech R&D competencies, high-efficiency engineering capabilities, world-class supply chain synergies and global distribution network, which should propel the company into a market-leading position in EVs. in India and abroad.
The investment made by Bajaj Auto will be complemented by a number of vendors, who will further invest Rs. 250 crore (USD 33 million), the company said.
The new facility will have state-of-the-art robotic and automated manufacturing systems for everything including logistics and material handling, fabrication and painting, assembly and quality assurance. The company said these systems are designed for a flexible product mix keeping in mind optimum worker ergonomics and maximum process efficiency.
Akurdi’s unit is co-located with Bajaj Auto’s state-of-the-art R&D center to foster greater collaboration, leading to faster time to market, and transform the facility into a hub for design, development and manufacturing. The range of electric vehicles, according to the statement.