Bajaj Auto is aiming for a fuel economy of 30 kmpl for the $2,500 ultra low cost car (ULC) that it is developing with Renault-Nissan as it looks to woo two-wheeler customers. The ULC which will be competing with the Nano aims to better the mileage of 23.6 kmpl given by the world's cheapest car from the stable of Tata Motors. On an average, the existing small cars in India give fuel economy of 15-18 kmpl/.
Bajaj Auto Managing Director, Rajiv Bajaj said that the company is taking a lot of learning from its motorcycle experience to come up with a product that would impress customers. “Our experience with motorcycles is that unless there is 50 per cent increase (in mileage), it is not considered good by customers. Our intention is to do a path breaking job with that kind of fuel economy,” he added.
Not only the mileage, he said the aim of the company is also to deliver an eco-friendly product that could have the least carbon dioxide emission and replicate what it has been able to achieve in motorcycles.
“Indian motorcycles, be it those made by Hero Honda, TVS or Bajaj, they are the greenest in the world. I think the excellent technology that we have in two-wheelers should be brought to four-wheelers,” he said.
He said most of the cars in India have an average carbon dioxide emission of 140-150 grams/km, while the best in the world are around 110-120 gm/km. “What we are looking at our small car is a double digit level of carbon dioxide emission per kilometre,” Bajaj said.
Tata Nano has an emission level of 101gm/km, which Tata Motors claims is the lowest among cars in India. On the pricing front, Bajaj’s aim is to lower the overall cost of ownership, irrespective of the pricing. Bajaj and the Renault-Nissan alliance have agreed at a Rs 1.1 Lakh price for the ULC.
Bajaj said the company has “harmonized” the plans to develop a light commercial vehicle with the development of ULC, which is scheduled to hit the market in 2012.