Quadricycles in India – To be or not to be?

Posted on: Apr 26, 2013 - 6:15pm IST

Bajaj Auto RE60 It is no more a secret that Bajaj is planning to put the RE60 into production very soon. In fact, the only thing that is holding up Bajaj is the Indian government’s definition of what a Quadricycle is.

In simple terms, a Quadricycle is a Bajaj RE60 – a small four-wheeler that can be used for limited distances, something that could replace the three-wheeled auto rickshaw.

However, the Government of India needs to define it technically in terms of number of passengers it can carry, the carbon emissions it can have and the sort of roads it can be used on (Mumbai – Pune expressway for example).

While the official report from the Govt. panel is still due in about 30 – 45 days, not everyone wants to see it implemented however.

Case in point being Mr. Karl Slym, Managing Director of Tata Motors. Mr. Slym recently tweeted saying “The Govt. have been accelerating efforts in traffic safety and environment, now we consider Quadricycle! Why go backwards?”

Mr. Slym is not the only one who is opposed to the Quadricycles. Mr. Venu Srinivasan, TVS Motor Chairman has been quoted saying that TVS proposed the Quadricycle a decade ago, but were quickly chided by Maruti and Bajaj on the basis of safety. However, he quickly adds that the current Quadricycle specification, if implemented, should have the Tata Nano as a benchmark for safety and pollution standards.

It must be mentioned here that the UK based TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) has concluded in a study saying that Quadricycle fatalities are 14 times higher than in a car.

Before we start talking about whether these Quadricycles can cut through traffic like our three-wheeled friends, it will be of utmost importance that there are strict norms and regulations on their usage, and more importantly, that the rules are followed.

What’s your take on this issue?

[Mr. Karl Slym’s Twitter page and Times Of India]

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11 thoughts on “Quadricycles in India – To be or not to be?

  1. sandy says:

    Quadricycle is just a plea by Bajaj to create a new segment to place its product which it can produce right now. Because they don’t want to be a laughing-stock by calling it as a car. I don’t agree with Mr. Karl Slym’s thought as this was the kind of thought others dealt before Nano’s launch; and not even agree with Mr. Venu Srinivasan for bench marking Nano as Quadricycle, since Nano’s height, width, wheel base n wheel track betters M800. However, I don’t deny that its gonna be safer then two wheelers. But is it desirable? The other such matching product being, Tata Magic Iris and M&M Gio which are better then RE60, but who really cares. So my catch, Govt. need not stress for defining Quadricycle, but think on SAFETY Norms.

  2. abuna ventana says:

    as said in the article, SAFETY is the most concern. CRASH WORTHINESS and RATINGS should be a norm for even autorikshaws.
    at the end, its our lives that matter.. if we become the 1st, 2nd or the 3rd party in case of a fatality.

  3. Veeer says:

    All the time when it comes to small cars, we always think….possibly made us to think CHEAP. In my opinion “branding the Nano as a cheapest car” has killed it…as nobody wants own things which are labelled cheap. It’s time to move on with quality and glamour. Please make them more of user focussed rather cost centric. Add some quality and features, Indians are very design conscious…some decent look will add value and pleasure to own one.

  4. Veeer says:

    There is no sense regulators or regulations stopping things from happening. It’s up to people to decide on that. Any day/ any point this proposed vehicle may be safer than a bike. Why do you all the time compare things which are not related to a segment. It’s target is up-gradation from bikes and is a better means of transport than bike and herewith I blindly support the production of such a vehicle. In long run we need a personal transport which needs to carry us to work place…. possibly alone or solo. I would prefer a twin seater, small one..easy to park, efficient to run, good looking like a coupe…agile to handle..automatic for a city run…In such a case, we all in family will buy one for each of us…dumping scooters and bikes…and all cars leaving family van which is for family outing. Kudos for this.

  5. Amar says:

    Affordable transportation is important for mobilising the country.

    Since the capacity addressed by public transport is below requirement, an accessible personal solution is welcome to fill the gap.

    Quadricycle or not, the legislation needs to place clear prioities on environment and safety costs.

    A quad is not the same as a car, undoubtedly.

    While Bajaj wants their quadricycle to share the operating environment with cars, they must also accept the same standards as cars.

    Bajaj’s argument that this is targetted at three-wheelers is not entirely true, and misleading.

    Three-wheelers are not used as perosnal vehicles but more as load or people carriers. RE60 therefore cannot be a logical substitue since bajaj also aims to address the personal segment with it.

    It is only fair that the government lays equal rules for all four-wheeled personal transport vehicles – cars, quadricycles, et al. – since there cannot be differentiaton on the value of lives using these modes.

  6. Jay Termkar says:

    I will definately use Quadricycle for my commute, because it is much safe than 2 wheeler and cheaper and easy to drive than a car. Also it will not cause traffic. Quadricycle will best in the city traffic. (Where as many cars cause traffic jams)

  7. Jay Termkar says:

    This car Lobby is all saying BS..already their cars are not safe and are like just tin can. No car company provides compulsary Airbags and ABS in india, If you want airbags they force you to buy Top End car Model and also pay extra money on top of that for airbags. also millions of 2 Wheelers which are inherently unsafe ars already there in India. So this Quadricycle is much more safe than 2 Wheelers and 3 Wheelers. Actually Quadricycle is much more cheap and easy to operate. Quadrycycle has more mileage than car, and are slim or less wide than cars, so they are very easy to drive in crowded cities. Car companies are thinking that Quadricycles will eat their market of low end cars and quadricycle will definitely eat their market…Many prople will buy a quadricycle for their commute, because it will makes their commute safe than 2 wheeler and cheaper and easy than car…

  8. sidd says:

    this should not be encouraged in India where people don’t follow even basic rules like seat belts, let alone these special quadricycle rules.


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Anjan Ravi

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