A new category of small vehicles - Quadricycles, has been approved by the Indian government and in particular the Ministry Of Road Transport and Highways. This new category, which will mainly be used to classify small four wheeled personal vehicles (or commercial vehicles) will have to pass a list of emissions, crash and other norms which will be laid down by the government and the Automotive Research Association Of India - ARAI. The first vehicle to be launched under this new category will be the Bajaj Qute. Bajaj Auto has heavily lobbied for this particular class of vehicle as until now, there was no such special category in India like the ones in Europe and in other countries around the world. The government has made no indication as to what GST rate will be applied to register these vehicles or whether they will have special registration plates like the new green plates on electric vehicles.
In order to meet the criteria of a 'Quadricycle' a vehicle will gave to weigh less than 475 kg (kerb weight). There is no confirmed notification on length and width restrictions just yet but we assume that the ministry of road transport and highways will issue a more detailed circular regarding the details on this vehicle class soon. The Quadricycle will also have to go through a rigorous crash test program in India to meet road worthiness along with a strict set of emissions test for petrol, diesel and alternative fuel vehicles. The government has also approved of full electric or hybrid quadricycles and those too will have to go through its own set of tests to meet road worthiness.
This approval from the government to allow quadricycles on Indian roads brings to end a long battle between Bajaj Auto and various other automakers / automotive industry bodies that went all the way to the Supreme Court regarding the roadworthiness of these vehicles. The fact that quadricycles are now being allowed on Indian roads also raises another question. Just like in Europe, would the Indian Government also allow teenagers between the ages of 16-18 years to drive these small urban cars with a special license category especially since the use of electric scooter for this age group without a permanent license has already been approved recently.