The Indian electric vehicle industry has been expanding its arsenal over the past few years, launching one top-of-the-line electric vehicle after another. The last year alone has seen a number of leading two-wheeler and four-wheeler manufacturers in the country stepping forward with the launch of their own EV line. With several new electric vehicles either in the pipeline or already being manufactured and sold, the future for green mobility in India is looking bright. Amidst all this, considerable excitement and anticipation have taken over the industry as Bajaj trademarks ‘Freerider’.
You read that right. Bajaj, one of the top names in the Indian two-wheeler market for many decades, may have a second electric two-wheeler in the works. This news, though still not confirmed by the company, has spread like wildfire in the industry as this could potentially be a giant leap forward for the country’s electric vehicle scene.
What Started the Speculations?
On the 1st of March, 2021, Bajaj Auto Limited filed for a new trademark for the name ‘Freerider’. The application, which has been accepted and approved on the 21st of June, had been filed under class 12. The description section of the trademark listing that was found on the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s Patent Design and Trademarks website states that the name could be used for scooters, motorcycles, automobile components, automobile features, and electric vehicles, amongst others.
Although the company has neither confirmed nor denied the speculations, Bajaj has been working on developing an electric vehicle platform in collaboration with the Austrian sports car and motorcycle manufacturer KTM for quite a while now. This leads EV enthusiasts to believe not only that the “Bajaj trademarks Freerider” news could be a reality but also that the partnership between the two companies may result in the launch of several new electric two-wheelers over the next few years.
What Can You Expect From the Bajaj Freerider?
Bajaj Auto stepped into the electric vehicle scene with Chetak Electric which is an electric scooter that was launched around mid to late 2019. Despite facing hindrances such as limited production capacity as well as limited availability, the scooter did particularly well, surpassing the TVS iQube electric scooter in sales in April 2021. The company has also trademarked the names Bajaj Fluor and Bajaj Fluir in India in early 2021—names that are also believed to be registered for electric two-wheelers.
Given this track record, rumors hint towards the newly trademarked Freerider potentially being a future electric two-wheeler, specifically a battery-powered motorcycle. In all likeliness, Bajaj Auto will be making use of the platform that was used for the Husqvarna E-Pilen. Though nothing is known about the specifications of the Freerider, EV aficionados are speculating that it might flaunt a sharp and futuristic design, something very different from the E-Pilen, in order to set the two apart.
Some are also expecting that the premium components of the E-Pilen, such as the aluminum swingarm and the USD-forks are going to be replaced with traditional components in an attempt to slightly lower the manufacturing costs. In the event that the Freerider does turn out to be a battery-powered two-wheeler, Bajaj would most likely be using the same powertrain as the E-Pilen that sports an 8kW motor and runs a whopping 100 kilometers on a single charge. The battery-swapping technology with a removable battery can also be expected from the Bajaj Freerider.
There is, however, a possibility that the Freerider may not be a two-wheeler at all. Some rumors also state that Bajaj trademarked ‘Freerider’ as the name for a two-wheeler component. A new Bluetooth console is also said to be in the works, and the Freerider could also well be a name for that. Although a new electric motorcycle seems like the most likely outcome, there is still quite a lot of uncertainty regarding what the Freerider would turn out to be.
Regardless of exactly what Bajaj trademarked ‘Freerider’ for, we can count on a state-of-the-art product that buyers would be able to depend on and get maximum value out of. With many decades of experience up its sleeve, Bajaj has carved out a fantastic reputation in the Indian two-wheeler market. Being the company behind the country’s most popular and well-loved scooter, the Chetak, there is no question regarding the fact that Bajaj is set to do just as brilliant a job in the electric vehicle industry.
Electric mobility in India is making steady advancements and gradually becoming more competitive. Thus, in order to gain a strong foothold in the market, Bajaj is yet to expand its EV portfolio and bring to the table many more quality electric two-wheelers. As Bajaj trademarks ‘Freerider’, chances are that it will be launched sometime this year with production to be scheduled for early 2022 or 2023. Since no comments have been made by the company itself, only time will unveil what the Freerider has in store.