Highlights: Bajaj CNG bike Freedom launched. Check official range and prices

Bajaj Freedom CNG bike becomes the first motorcycle anywhere in the world to offer the alternate fuel source as a ride option. Launched in three varia
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Bajaj Freedom
Bajaj Freedom CNG bike has been officially unveiled for the world.
Bajaj Freedom
Bajaj Freedom CNG bike has been officially unveiled for the world.

Bajaj Auto launched the world's first CNG-powered motorbike today. Called Bajaj Freedom, the Bajaj CNG bike will run on petrol but will have the option to switch to CNG or Compressed Natural Gas at the press of a button. While CNG-powered cars have existed for more than a decade, it is only the first time now that a CNG-powered motorcycle is coming in, not just to India but anywhere in the world.

The launch of Bajaj CNG motorcycle has the potential to open up the proverbial floodgates for such a technology to be taken to more models and has the potential to not just bring down expenses on fuel but also lower emissions. Both of these factors are crucial to the two-wheeler owner in India where several cities repeatedly make it to the list of world's most polluted.

What does the Bajaj CNG bike have on offer and will it be a game changer in the Indian two-wheeler market? Catch  all the major highlights from the launch event of Bajaj Freedom CNG bike:

05 Jul 2024, 02:45 PM IST

What do you make of the Bajaj Freedom CNG bike?

That's all the updates we have from ground zero. Check out the full, comprehensive launch report of Bajaj Freedom CNG bike.

Thank you so much for staying with HT Auto for the launch!

05 Jul 2024, 02:42 PM IST

Quite a day here at the Bajaj facility as Bajaj Freedom 125 makes its global debut. Check out some of the biggest highlights of the CNG motorcycle:

Bajaj Freedom CNG bike comes in three variants, seven dual-tone colour options, gets a two-litre petrol tank, two-kilo CNG tank, combined ride range of 330 kms, significantly lower emissions than a petrol-only commuter bike, longer seat, LED headlights, support for Bluetooth tech and more…

Price range of Bajaj Freedom CNG bike is between 95,000 and 1.10 lakh (ex-showroom).

05 Jul 2024, 02:35 PM IST

What is the price for Bajaj Freedom 125 CNG bike?

Bajaj Freedom 125 CNG bike has been officially launched in India at a starting price of 95,000 (ex-showroom) for the base Drum variant. The Drum LED variant is priced at 1.05 lakh (ex-showroom) and the top Disc variant is at 1.10 lakh (ex-showroom).

Bookings for Bajaj Freedom 125 CNG bike are now open with deliveries starting first in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, while rest of the states will start getting the bike in a phased manner

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05 Jul 2024, 02:34 PM IST

Bajaj Freedom: Variants and colour options

Bajaj Freedom 125 CNG bike comes in three variants and seven dual-tone colour options.

The variants are Disc LED, Drum LED and Drum.

05 Jul 2024, 02:29 PM IST

But where is the CNG tank located?

One of the biggest questions has been how does the Bajaj CNG fit the tank for the alternate fuel. The answer is now revealed!

The CNG tank has been placed under the seat and the company claims that extensive tests, including dummy crashes using a 10 ton-truck, has been conducted and that the cylinder is absolutely safe with no leakage detected.

05 Jul 2024, 02:27 PM IST

Bajaj Freedom gets a two kilo CNG tank and a two kilo petrol tank

Bajaj Freedom claims to offer a total ride range of 330 kms when both fuels are made use of, one-by-one. The Bajaj Freedom offers 9.5 bhp and 9.7 Nm of torque.

Bajaj Freedom can also switch between petrol and CNG on the move, at the press of a button.

05 Jul 2024, 02:24 PM IST

Bajaj Freedom CNG bike: Key specs and highlights

Bajaj Freedom CNG bike makes some very big claims. The Bajaj CNG gets sporty styling, LED head lamp, Blutetooth connectivity, dual colour scheme with graphics and first-in-class linked monoshock suspension.

Bajaj Freedom
Some of the big highlights on the Bajaj Freedom 125 CNG bike.
Bajaj Freedom
Some of the big highlights on the Bajaj Freedom 125 CNG bike.
05 Jul 2024, 02:15 PM IST

Bajaj Freedom has a petrol tank capacity of just two litres!

Bajaj Freedom has a rather small tank capacity for petrol - two litres. It is likely that petrol may be engaged as reserve fuel.

In most commuter bikes, the petrol tank capacity is usually around 10 to 12 litres.

We hear Bajaj Freedom returns a mileage of 213 kilometres per kilo of CNG!

 Bajaj Freedom
Another view of the recently-unveiled Bajaj Freedom CNG bike.
 Bajaj Freedom
Another view of the recently-unveiled Bajaj Freedom CNG bike.
05 Jul 2024, 02:08 PM IST

Nitin Gadkari takes centerstage, underlines the need to reduce crude oil import bill

Gadkari puts his weight behind alternate fuel sources for autombiles. “I am very happy that when I took charge, the place for automobile industry here was seventh. Now we are third, overtaking Japan. My target as minister is to make India a five trillion economy and for this, the most important industry is the automobile industry."

He further highlights how the automobile industry is not just a wealth creator but a job creator as well.

 Nitin Gadkari
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari (right) with Bajaj Auto MG Rajiv Bajaj.
 Nitin Gadkari
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari (right) with Bajaj Auto MG Rajiv Bajaj.
05 Jul 2024, 02:03 PM IST

And here is what all of us have been waiting for…

Check out the very first photos of the world's first CNG bike - Bajaj Freedom!

Bajaj Freedom
Bajaj Freedom CNG bike has been officially unveiled for the world.
Bajaj Freedom
Bajaj Freedom CNG bike has been officially unveiled for the world.
05 Jul 2024, 01:50 PM IST

Longest seat on any motorcycle anywhere in the world?

Freedom 125 CNG bike to likely feature what could be the longest seat on any motorcycle anywhere in the world. Rajiv Bajaj underlines the emphasis on ensuring a baby does not have to sit on a lap when on the bike.

05 Jul 2024, 01:49 PM IST

Freedom is the theme of our launch event today: Rajiv Bajaj

Rajiv Bajaj says today's event is his company's interpretation of freedom. “Freedom from oil imports, range anxiety, charging concerns, emissions, cramped seats and boring design of commyter bikes," he claims.

Very interestingly, Rajiv Bajaj also takes a dig at subsidies on electric two-wheelers despite his company also offering the Chetak EV. “It is about freedom from paradoxical unsustainable subsidies," he says.

Bajaj Freedom 125
Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj speaks at the launch event of Bajaj Freedom 125 CNG bike.
Bajaj Freedom 125
Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj speaks at the launch event of Bajaj Freedom 125 CNG bike.
05 Jul 2024, 01:42 PM IST

Bajaj Auto Rajiv Bajaj calls Freedom 125 ‘a gamechanger’

The MD of Bajaj Auto highlights how his company brought out the country's first CNG three-wheeler. He highlights how the three-wheeler was not well received initially because there was only one CNG pump at the time in Delhi.

Bajaj says it was a learning experience. “Customer expects brands to put out a holistic experience with products, especially with new technologies like electric or CNG bike like we have today."

05 Jul 2024, 01:32 PM IST

Bajaj Freedom 125 launch event begins with key note of thanks to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari

Nitin Gadkari, a very vocal advocate of alternate fuel technology, is the chief guest at the launch of Bajaj Freedom 125.

05 Jul 2024, 01:15 PM IST

Final countdown begins…

We have arrived at the event arena to say hello to the world's first CNG bike. The wait for Bajaj Freedom 125 CNG is nearly over, stay tuned for what promises to be a unique and novel ride!

Bajaj Auto
HT Auto is at the event area for the Bajaj Freedom 125 launch.
Bajaj Auto
HT Auto is at the event area for the Bajaj Freedom 125 launch.
05 Jul 2024, 01:02 PM IST

When, where and how to watch the live launch event of Bajaj Freedom 125 CNG…

Excited about the launch of Bajaj CNG bike? Stay tuned to HT Auto for the very latest updates from Ground Zero!

You can also check the live stream of the event on the Bajaj Auto homepage. Potential participants need to log on to the site, provide name, email and phone number. A welcome message follows on WhastApp and voila!

You can also check out the live launch event of Bajaj Freedom 125 on the Bajaj Auto Youtube page.

Bajaj Auto
A welcome message from Bajaj Auto comes on WhatsApp post registering for the Bajaj Freedom 125 launch event on the company website.
Bajaj Auto
A welcome message from Bajaj Auto comes on WhatsApp post registering for the Bajaj Freedom 125 launch event on the company website.
05 Jul 2024, 12:48 PM IST

Eye on EV but focus on CNG?

Bajaj Auto appears to want to leave no stone unturned. While its Pulsar range of motorcycles enjoy a cult status, the company has not yet tasted success in the electric two-wheeler segment where it offers the Chetak EV. It has a 2.89 kWh battery pack and has a claimed range of around 130 kms per charge. But when compared to the likes of newer players like Ola Electric and Ather Energy, Bajaj's electric dreams are 'work in progress' at best.

The company, however, may be looking at first-mover advantage with its Freedom 125 CNG bike. Will it work?

2024 Bajaj Chetak Review
Bajaj Chetak EV has received minor updates since its first launch in January of 2020.
2024 Bajaj Chetak Review
Bajaj Chetak EV has received minor updates since its first launch in January of 2020.
05 Jul 2024, 12:30 PM IST

Bajaj CNG plans: Experiment, gamble or planned propulsion?

As per CNBC TV18, Bajaj plans to assess the response to the Freedom 125 in the Indian bike market and if successful, will expand the product portfolio with more CNG-powered bikes.

With access to CNG pumps now not just restricted to major metropolitan cities but to smaller towns and availability on highway stretches as well, this could be a shot in the arm for Bajaj's plans.

Did you know that India currently has around 6,000 CNG pumping stations? Gujarat has the maximum number of these stations, followed by Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and the National Capital Region (NCR). The aim, as per Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, is to have 12,000 stations in the country in the next five years.

05 Jul 2024, 12:12 PM IST

Bajaj eyes foreign markets with CNG bike

While Bajaj is looking at disrupting the entry-level motorcycle segment in India with the Freedom 125 CNG bike, reports suggest the company will also look at exporting units of the model to foreign shores. Bajaj Auto is one of the leading exporters of two-wheelers from India at present despite overall exports dipping by 27 per cent year-on-year in FY23 for the company.

Did you know that the enormously popular Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle is now also exported to Russia? Bajaj is the second Indian company to touch down in Russia but which was the first? Hint: Bite the Bullet and take a guess…

Bajaj Auto exports two-wheelers to more than 100 countries.

05 Jul 2024, 11:59 AM IST

Which country has the largest CNG vehicle fleet? Surprise, surprise!

India has a sizeable number of CNG-powered vehicles, both in the private as well as commercial space. Passenger vehicles make the bulk of the numbers while trucks and buses too are making use of the technology. But India is not the country with the largest CNG fleet. As per CNGport.hu, Iran leads the world with a fleet of 40 lakh CNG-powered vehicles, followed closely by China with around the same number. Pakistan has 37 lakh CNG-powered vehicles while Argentina and Brazil make the top-five list. India is sixth.

05 Jul 2024, 11:35 AM IST

CNG bikes vs electric two-wheelers: Which may make more sense?

With petrol prices still at and around 100 per litre, there is a clear case for switching to CNG-powered two-wheelers. But unlike in the car segment, the two-wheeler segment has also seen a rise in battery-powered options.

It will likely come down to cost economics of both. While electric two-wheelers are likely to remain far more affordable to ride, the time commitment it takes to power such a vehicle is still long. Yes, these are zero emission options but range too can be a limiting factor.

For CNG two-wheelers, options are limited to Bajaj Freedom 125 at present and likely to remain limited till the company rolls out more models or rivals decide to enter the space. But while CNG two-wheelers would be cheaper to ride on than petrol-only counterparts, these won’t be cheaper than electric two-wheelers as far as running and maintenance costs are concerned.

05 Jul 2024, 11:12 AM IST

Spy shots reveal key details

The Bajaj CNG bike Freedom isn’t expected to look very flashy or sporty. Instead, it is a commuter bike that will prop up its ability to go further than any other two-wheeler model because of its dual-fuel sources. While details have been closely guarded, it is expected that the Bajaj Freedom CNG bike will have a CNG cylinder sitting just below the fuel tank. Additionally, official teaser images have revealed a switch on the handlebar to move from petrol to CNG, and back.

Bajaj CNG Bike Teaser
The upcoming Bajaj CNG motorcycle will be a world-first and is expected to be a game-changer
Bajaj CNG Bike Teaser
The upcoming Bajaj CNG motorcycle will be a world-first and is expected to be a game-changer
05 Jul 2024, 11:02 AM IST

Challenges for CNG-powered bikes

Bajaj Auto may be set to roll out the first-ever CNG-powered bike but the journey from four to two wheels for the alternate fuel source has been anything but easy. Did you know that a pilot project to test CNG for scooters was started in 2016 when a pizza delivery outlet made use of 30 specially-fitted two-wheelers as part of a pilot project. The project wasn’t exactly successful at the time.

Challenges for CNG on two-wheelers in the past have ranged from limited number of filling stations to how best to equip a small cylinder on a two-wheeler. Safety concerns have also been raised in the past. Then there is the very vital question of price difference between a two-wheeler with and without a CNG kit.

Of course, Bajaj is likely to address all of these issues during the launch event that is scheduled to start some time from now.

05 Jul 2024, 10:30 AM IST

Which car companies offer CNG-fitted vehicles in India?

While Maruti Suzuki may have the widest portfolio for CNG-equipped cars, the likes of Hyundai and Tata Motors have bet big on the technology as well. While the Koreans offer CNG on cars like Grand i10 NIOS and Exter, Tata Motors offers CNG on models like Tiago, Tigor, Altroz and Punch.

05 Jul 2024, 10:11 AM IST

Which company was the first to introduce factory-fitted CNG kits in India?

While CNG was equipped in cars from after-market centers, Maruti Suzuki was the first to recognise the potential of the alternate fuel source. By the early 2010s, India's largest carmaker started offering models with company-fitted CNG kits. At present, Maruti offers its S-CNG technology in 18 of its car models.

05 Jul 2024, 10:10 AM IST

Brief history of Compressed Natural Gas as automotive fuel

CNG-powered vehicles may have entered the mainstream around a decade and a half back but experiments with the fuel dates back to the World War II era. CNG was a transport fuel back during the days of World War II, primarily because there was often a shortage of petrol and diesel. Subsequently, efforts were made to make use of CNG carriers but these were commercially viable.

It is not until 1990s that CNG as an automotive fuel began to gain wider acceptance in the world. By the turn of the millennium, advancements in technology allowed CNG to enter the mainstream automotive segments in many countries. Car brands began equipping vehicles with kits in the retro-fitted category.

First Published Date: 05 Jul 2024, 10:10 AM IST

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