As the demand for electric vehicles in India gradually picks up pace, Bajaj Auto has announced an investment of Rs 300 crore ($40 million) in an all-new electric vehicle manufacturing unit. It’s located at Akurdi (Maharashtra), and the unit will produce 5 lakh EVs annually. However, the interesting bit about this plant is that this was also the site of the original Chetak factory.
The new unit will have everything from logistics and material handling to fabrication and painting, assembly. Whereas, quality assurance will be handled by the new unit’s cutting-edge robotic and automated production equipment. Bajaj’s ensured that these systems were created with a customisable product mix in mind, as well as the highest worker ergonomics and process efficiency. The facility covers close to half a million square feet and will employ 800 people. Furthermore, Bajaj Auto’s investment will be matched by a number of vendors who will put in an additional Rs 250 crore ($33 million). And, by June 2022, the first electric vehicle from this unit should be on the road.
Next to this new EV manufacturing facility is Bajaj Auto’s cutting-edge R&D centre, which will also allow for increased collaboration and faster time-to-market. The idea is to turn Bajaj Auto’s Akurdi plant into a centre for the design, development, and production of a whole range of electric vehicles. That’s really a big step by Bajaj Auto in the electric vehicle space. For now, we’ll have to wait a bit longer to know what’s in store after the Chetak electric.