Champions eat OATS: Rajiv Bajaj takes on EV makers with cryptic confidence
The Indian two-wheeler space is witnessing increasing penetration of electric vehicles. In the last few years, several startups have emerged in the ever-expanding electric two-wheeler space. EV startups such as Ather Energy, Torq, SmartE have been dominating the electric two-wheeler space. Recently, Ola Electric's entry into the segment has changed amplified the startups' role in the segment. However, Bajaj Auto Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj is not keen to give importance to them. Rather, he bets big on Bajaj Auto, Royal Enfield and TVS Motor Company for the growth of electric two-wheelers in India.
During the launch of Bajaj Auto's latest addition to the popular Pulsar portfolio, the all-new Bajaj Pulsar 250, Rajiv Bajaj said that if he has to on some companies, he would bet on BET, which stands for Bajaj, Enfield and TVS, not on the EV startups like Ola, Ather, Torq or SmartE. "If I had to bet on somebody I would bet on BET. We are champions. What do champions eat? Champions eat oats," said Rajiv Bajaj.
The demands for electric two-wheelers have been growing in India on the back of rising petrol prices, increasing preference for personal mobility and proven low cost of ownership for EVs compared to their ICE counterparts. However, despite the surge in demand for e2Ws, mainstream two-wheeler manufacturers have majorly shied away from bringing their products into the space.
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Bajaj has launched its Chetak electric scooter, while TVS too launched its iQube e-scooter in the Indian market. Besides that, no other major two-wheeler brand has launched any electric scooter or motorcycle in the domestic market. However, automakers such as Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp, Honda Motorcycles, Yamaha are working on their electric two-wheelers.