Creating a new segment of affordable four-wheelers, the government has decided to allow Quadricycles - four-wheelers with less power and lower maximum speed than conventional small cars as non-transport vehicles, paving the way for their private use.
The Road Transport and Highways Ministry issued a notification inserting the item Quadricycle as a "non-transport" vehicle under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Quadricycles were only allowed for transport usage under the Act but now have been made usable for non-transport also, an official statement said.
Fully covered like a car, a Quadricycle weighs almost half as much as an entry-level small car and has an engine like that of a three-wheeler, which makes it a cheaper and safer mode of transport for last-mile connectivity. Quadricycles have existed for about three decades in Europe and officially became a new class of vehicles known as a low-speed vehicle in the US in 1998 and in Canada in 2000.
With petrol and CNG versions, Bajaj Auto's Qute, first unveiled in 2012, was one of the first quadricycles manufactured in India. However, it could not be launched due to regulatory and safety concerns.
In June, the government allowed Quadricycles for commercial use, paving the way for the launch of such vehicles. With the government allowing their use as personal vehicles, other manufacturers are expected to launch similar products soon.
(Image Courtesy: Twitter/Bajaj)