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A 'manufacturer unknown' prototype scooter has been spotted testing in Pune. Rumors are that it could be the Bajaj electric scooter that is to be retailed under the Urbanite brand. We had reported in February that the Bajaj said that an electric scooter was a possibility. There is no way of telling who the manufacturer is for sure, but the two leading candidates are Bajaj Auto, and Mahindra.
Both Bajaj Auto, and Mahindra have their Research & Development based out of Pune. There little to no evidence that Mahindra, and or Bajaj Auto is working on a new scooter model, the industry however, speculates that the scooter in question belongs to Bajaj.
According to Team-BHP, spy pictures show that the scooter does have what looks like part of the engine on the left rear side, and also what looks like an exhaust system on the right. It also appears to be production ready, albeit under camouflage.
The spy pictures of this scooter also show a tapering tail section that features twin inclined taillights and a wide seat. Both these features are similar to the sketches of the Bajaj Urbanite scooter which were leaked earlier this year. The Urbanite brand is scheduled to be unveiled towards the end of this year, so the timing of spotting on while in tests seems right.
It appears that Bajaj Auto will go re-introduce a petrol scooter model. Bajaj was once famous for a geared scooter model called the Chetak.
The could be a few reasons that Bajaj Auto may have decided to re-introduce a petrol scooter. One, scooters are a large part of the two-wheeler industry and Bajaj want to reclaim lost glory. And two, Bajaj is beginning to feel pressure from investors who want a part of the scooter segment.
Automatic scooters have slowly risen, and are on their path towards dominating the commuter motorcycle segment in the country. Bajaj Auto could be planning to launch an internal combustion engine scooter first, with the short term goal of dominating the petrol scooter markets.
That will give them time to prepare for when the electric scooter segment will start picking up.
Thoughts About The Scooter Spotted Testing
All the evidence points towards the scooter being the Bajaj Urbanite. The electric scooter segment will grow over time and Bajaj knows it. It makes sense to launch an electric now. If this is the Urbanite, the two wheeler scooter segment is in for some serious competition.