Bajaj Auto set to launch world’s first CNG bike ‘Freedom 125’ on Friday | Company News

Bajaj Auto set to launch world’s first CNG bike ‘Freedom 125’ on Friday | Company News

Bajaj Auto set to launch world’s first CNG bike ‘Freedom 125’ on Friday | Company News

Freedom 125 (Photo Credit: Bajaj Auto/X)

Pune-based two-wheeler major Bajaj Auto is all set to launch the world’s first CNG bike on Friday. Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari is expected to be present in Pune for the event.

While the company is yet to reveal the name, reports have claimed that the bike, which is expected to be in the 125 cc segment, will be named Freedom 125.

The bike is likely to have flexible fuel options, featuring two separate switches for petrol and CNG. Bajaj Auto has said earlier that they are aiming to bring the bike in an affordable segment. Bajaj Auto will position its upcoming CNG bike towards the value-conscious customer, a senior company official said. A launch is expected in the April-June quarter of 2024-25, and the company will start with the Maharashtra market, Rakesh Sharma, executive director of Bajaj Auto, had said in April.

In March, Bajaj Auto managing director Rajiv Bajaj had said that compared to gasoline, in a CNG bike carbon dioxide emissions are down by almost 50 per cent, carbon monoxide by 75 per cent, and non-methane hydrocarbons by 90 per cent. He had also said it would effectively double mileage or halve the cost of fuel for the aam aadmi (common man).

Analysts say that this bike is likely to be priced affordably, targeting customers with monthly earnings in the range of Rs 30,000-40,000. It could be priced around Rs 10,000-12,000 more than a petrol bike, but the cost could be recovered from savings in fuel costs.

Bajaj also has plans for exporting the CNG bike to countries like Bangladesh and Egypt.

As such, the two-wheeler industry has been toying with CNG fuel for some time now.

In 2016, a pilot in Delhi by the government attempted to test CNG-powered Honda Activa models. The pilot project did not quite take off as there were performance-related issues with these petrol two-wheelers, primarily a lack of power. Packing CNG tanks into a two-wheeler is also not easy and leads to maintenance costs.

Bajaj Auto, which has more than a 30 per cent market share in India’s three-wheeler market, has already tasted success with CNG technology, with around 60 per cent of three-wheelers running on CNG.

First Published: Jul 04 2024 | 6:05 PM IST

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