Bajaj became the first major manufacturer in India to launch an electric scooter by resurrecting Chetak brand, and customer deliveries have begun this month. Bajaj made its first electric scooter available to Pune and Bangalore to start with.
The first Chetak customers got keys to their scooters on Saturday, 7th March 2020, and it was delivered to them at the KTM showroom at Mekhri Circle, Bangalore. The Chetak is available in two variants – Urbane and Premium, priced at Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1.15 lakh respectively. While both the variants get the same powertrain and specifications, the changes between them are mostly cosmetic. The Premium variant gets a metallic body and wheel colour, tan seat cover and also a front disc brake. Most of the customers have opted for the Premium variant, with Blue and Black being the popular choice.
Bajaj chose Pune and Bangalore for the initial phase of launch because Pune is their home ground with the R&D centre and manufacturing plant there and Bangalore has always been a receptive market for electric vehicles. Bajaj will be obtaining feedback from the customers of these two places before launching in other towns and cities. Chetak’s main competitor, Ather has got the lead with the e-scooters with its 450X which is available in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and Hyderabad, while the TVS iQube is only available in Bangalore.
The Chetak’s 3 kWh battery offers a range of 85 km in Sport mode and 95 km in Eco, and the scooter takes five hours to be charged completely, with no option for fast-charging. Bajaj Auto is reportedly planning to launch different electric models under the Chetak brand. According to Rakesh Sharma, Executive Director, Bajaj Auto, prototypes are already developed for testing. The next launch could be a performance-oriented version of the Chetak with better acceleration and top speed, along with more features to challenge the 450X.