India Paves the Way for Quadricycles, Bajaj Qute Set For Entry
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has approved the use of Quadricycles (small four-wheelers) for personal and commercial use, classifying it as a new vehicle category in India.
Quadricycles are mini-cars that are defined by limitations in terms of things like weight, power, displacement, and speed. Quadricycles are safer than a three-wheeler but have never been considered as a conventional four-wheeler option because of the significantly lower levels of safety and security they offer.
Having said that, the Euro NCAP states on its website that these vehicles do not have to conform to the more stringent safety tests that apply to cars.
Indian manufacturer Bajaj is most likely to benefit from this change as they have been waiting for this mandate in order to launch their Qute quadricycle, which was first introduced at the 2012 Auto Expo as the RE60.
The Qute is powered by a 200 cc single cylinder engine that generates a 20 bhp power output. The four wheeler has a metal-polymer monocoque body due to which it weights around 400 kg. The Qute is expected to cost around Rs 2 lakh.
They have said that the Qute has met all global emission and safety standards, including the Euro NCAP. They had called the inability to launch the vehicle “perplexing” and “disheartening.” The Bajaj Qute quadricycle had achieved a 1-star safety rating in Euro NCAP crash tests.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has categorised Quadricycles as vehicles with less than 450 kg kerb weight. According to Autocar, the ministry has already issued a notification on the standards for quadricycles, like weight, emission and safety worthiness.
A Quadricycle will have to go through a rigorous crash test program in India to meet the road standards, along with a strict set of emissions test for petrol, diesel and alternative fuel vehicles. They will most likely be intended to replace three-wheelers used for public transport in India.
“We will soon issue the final standards for the category after which any company that manufactures quadricycles can sell them in India. We have ensured that the safety standards for quadricycles are more stringent than the European standards,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had told ET in February.
However, these vehicles will have to pass a list of emissions, crash and other norms which will be laid down by the government and the Automotive Research Association of India – ARAI, to be able ply on Indian roads.
What remains to be seen is that if the Qute still holds the BS-IV compliance as it was launched before the new standards kicked in, although Bajaj claims that in this small carriage will be the lowest CO2 emitting car just 66 gms/km.
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