Earlier, the Indian ministry of road transport and highways has announced a policy to authorise quadricycles as a new kind of vehicles, for commercial use. Now, the Union government will finally legalise the sale of quadricycles for individual purchase. So, the Indian automotive market will soon get the cheapest vehicles. However, the safety of the passengers still remains a big question regarding quadricycles.
The transport department has issued several rules for commercial selling of quadricycles. These new type of four-wheeler will be the most lightweight concept. These vehicles will run on the more economical motor. Some companies have already showcased the new four-wheeler concept previously but unfortunately failed in terms of the safety norms.
In 2012, Bajaj has showcased Qute RE60 although, it was not approved by the Supreme Court as it lacked some major safety features. The vehicle was criticized by the company’s competitors as well as some popular automotive firms. In the month of June this year, Bajaj introduced the Qute RE60 in new shades which indicated that it will soon launch in the country.
Bajaj Auto was the first to bring the vehicle in India and they have been also transporting the new concept in here. The Bajaj quadricycle is small in size and is lightweight, although, it was being deemed unreliable due to an additional wheel, which the company thought provided more balance. The whole matter also reached the courts, but the company was waiting for the final judgment by the Supreme court.
As per the new rules, the quadricycles should weigh less than 475 kg which is nearly half the density of Maruti Celerio (lightest entry-level car). Additionally, to get approval from the ministry, the Quadricycles will have to satisfy the crash test and new emission norms, which was earlier announced by the government.
Professor D Raghuram, director of IIM Bangalore said, “In India, the range of vehicle types that are used on road is an inherent cause of lack of safety. Both speed and size variations in big and small cars increase the chances of unsafe incidents on roads. People in smaller vehicles such as two-wheelers tend to go squeeze in between larger vehicles to get ahead. From that perspective, it doesn’t seem like a very good idea to have such vehicles (quadricycles). Though in terms of fuel efficiency they may be cost-effective.”
A senior minister of the road transport and highways said, “We will be issuing a notification in a day or two allowing the use of quadricycles for private use. Earlier, we had allowed them as a new transport category for commercial purpose. At present, it is available as a petrol-driven vehicle only.” Earlier he has claimed that the vehicle must be developed not more than 475 kg for passenger vehicle and 550 kg for goods vehicle.
Qute will be implemented with a rear-mounted 216cc, water-cooled, single-cylinder petrol motor, combined with a 4-speed manual transmission. The company claims a top speed at 70kph and a fuel economy of 35kpl. It will feature a storage capacity of 44-litres and 2+2 or 1+3 seat arrangements. The company said that Qute will be the world’s greenest 4-wheeler which will come with the fuel efficiency of 36 km/ litre of gasoline and discharges only 66 gm of CO2 per km. The vehicle is expected to be priced nearly 2 lakh.
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