A special inter-ministerial group in India has approved the use of quadricycles for public transport within city limits. The effort has been spearheaded by Bajaj Auto, the leading three-wheeler manufacturer in India. Quadricycles are similar to low-speed vehicles in the US, although they are more likely to be powered by internal combustion engines and operate at slightly higher speeds. They are already prevalent in Europe. Similar to LSVs in the US, there has been some objection to the quadricycles because they do not have to meet the same safety standards as higher speed autos but share the same roads. In India some of this criticism has come from the manufacturers of higher speed autos. Bajaj Auto management reports that they will beging production of their RE60 quadricycle very soon.
Comment: This may be a potential win for Polaris in the long term. They recently purchased a leading quadricycle manufacturer in Europe, Aixam Mega, and have also entered the Indian market with their UTVs and GEM vehicles. A quadricycle product line could be a nice addition for their dealer network, especially if their use is allowed to expand beyond the current limitations.
Another consideration is whether this is the beginning of a trend towards wider quadricycle use around the world. And if it is, does it put pressure on US regulatory bodies to approve the use of medium speed vehicles and/or wider use of low speed vehicles?