Bajaj Champions CNG-Powered Freedom For Commuters

Abhijeet Singh
09 Jul 2024
08:30 AM
2 Min Read

The motorcycle gets a 2 kg under-seat CNG cylinder paired with a 2 litre petrol tank, returning a claimed range of 330 km. Bajaj has a compelling product wherever CNG infra is ripe.

Bajaj Champions CNG-Powered Freedom For Commuters mobility outlook

Bajaj Auto has just released the Freedom motorcycle, which can run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and petrol as fuel options. As far as dual-fuel motorcycles are concerned, this may be the freshest and most viable motorcycle in the market currently for buyers, with CNG pumps available at ease.

Launched in the presence of the Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, the fanfare was justified as this is the first dual-fuel motorcycle in the world that can run on petrol and CNG, making it a candidate for global markets as well.

Bajaj dealers in Maharashtra and Gujarat have started taking bookings for the Freedom, with other parts of the country to join in later this FY. Freedom is available in three variants: NGO4 Drum, priced at INR 95,000; NGO4 Drum LED, priced at INR 1.05 lakh; and NGO4 Disc LED, priced at INR 1.1 lakh (all prices ex-showroom). Even without the veneer of CNG-ness, the motorcycle is a good proposition overall. The long seat and mono-shock suspension are great additions, as no other motorcycle is able to provide these in this segment. Even the design language will spark interest from commuter buyers with a rakish trellis frame, a bold fascia and even a sump guard.

As far as the elephant edging in the room, the CNG infrastructure and the presence of oil and gas companies at the launch event shine a glimmer of hope. Bajaj management has very aptly requested separate lines for two-wheelers at CNG pumps because 2 kg tanks on the Freedom are small and will take little time to refill. Currently, 325 towns are covered with varying degrees of CNG network depth, accounting for about 70% of Bajaj's market. The company is collaborating with city gas distribution companies to enhance the CNG infrastructure, ensuring a robust network to support the growing number of CNG vehicles.

The Bajaj Freedom delivers a certified mileage of 120 kilometres per kilogramme of CNG. Real-life tests, however, Bajaj claims that the motorcycle can achieve up to 150 kilometres per kilogram, making it a highly efficient option for daily commuting. In addition, the bike features a petrol tank with a range of 65 kilometres, ensuring versatility and convenience for riders. It is a great product for the millions of gig workers too who will actually have a lower downtime than even an E2W realistically. 

At the launch event, one notable inquiry was about the motivation behind the bike's design and efficiency. The team explained that the motorcycle's straight design was intended to maintain a low curve rate, protecting critical components like the valve and ensuring stress-free conditions. Although the 2 kg capacity CNG tank might sound small, or even a missed opportunity by skeptics, but remember this is the first product in its line, and Bajaj has enough potential to make changes once the idea gets on the road.

The motorcycle, weighing approximately 147.8 kilogrammes, has been designed with a unique package that efficiently integrates the gasoline tank, CNG cylinder, and air box. This innovative packaging ensures optimal performance and safety, making it the lightest in its segment.


Regarding sales, Bajaj is looking at 10,000 units of production for the coming months, which will gradually increase up to 40,000 units by the end of this FY. Export markets for the Bajaj Freedom are already being considered, with an initial focus on India. However, Bajaj plans to expand to international markets, including Egypt, Tanzania, Colombia, Peru, and Tunisia. The company aims to leverage its strong network and the growing demand for CNG vehicles in these regions.

Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of Bajaj Auto, noted that the CNG motorcycle market holds immense potential, particularly in India, where fuel efficiency and cost savings are critical for consumers. Bajaj's existing dominance in the CNG three-wheeler segment, with over 60% market share, provides a strong foundation for the new venture.

Bajaj confirmed that while initial investments in new technology are substantial, the long-term benefits and market potential justify the expenditure. The company remains committed to exploring further innovations and expanding its product range to include more CNG and possibly hybrid models.

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