November was relatively a good month for Bajaj Auto’s Chetak, but an excellent one for the TVS iQube. Bajaj Auto sold more than 250 units of its new electric scooter, but TVS Motor Company was able to triple the sales of that model’s arch-rival, as per numbers reported by Indian web portals.
Bajaj Auto delivered 264 units of the Chetak electric scooter in November, which was just a whisker over October’s 258 units. The TVS iQube deliveries stood grew from 32 units in October to 99 units last month, though. However, Bajaj Auto has big expansion plans for the Chetak, and so, sales may accelerate to 4-digits in 2021 and pull away from the iQube.
There are more than 1,000 Chetak electric scooters plying across India. Bajaj Auto delivered the milestone unit of its first electric scooter in October.
Marketed simply as Chetak, the Bajaj electric scooter is available in two cities – Pune and Bengaluru – since its launch in January. Bajaj Auto began the deliveries of the electric Chetak in January, and by October, it managed to sell 1,070 units, as per the latest industry data from the web. Take a look at the monthly sales in the table below:
|Month||Bajaj Chetak sales||TVS iQube sales|
During most of the second quarter of the year, like rival companies, Bajaj Auto was unable to ship a single unit of the Chetak due to the COVID-19 lockdown imposed in the country and the inability to source parts, including one component which comes from Wuhan. Even when the market reopened, the company was struggling to restart deliveries, as there were supply issues from vendors. The Chinese origin of critical parts didn’t help matters as the India-China border tensions rose.
Bajaj Auto seems to have somewhat recovered from sourcing issues it faced earlier this year. The company had postponed expansion plans initially but, surprisingly, just a few months later, it is talking about a robust expansion plan to increase the Chetak availability to 30 cities. That’s not all, it is planning a whole new factory for the Chetak electric scooter and other EVs as well as it expects demand to increase in the coming years. It is possible that the company has found local vendors for more parts.
Currently, every Chetak is sold at a loss for Bajaj Auto, but the company believes the investment is a way to go up the learning curve and prepare for acceleration when the economics work out either via subsidy, government support or battery cost reduction.
Bajaj Auto may start expanding the Chetak’s availability in early 2021. Delhi, Jaipur, Goa, Hyderabad, Chennai and Vizag are the first new locations where it plans to launch the Chetak next. It is yet to reveal the other 22 new locations.
Bajaj Chetak vs. TVS iQube Electric – Specifications
|Aspect||Bajaj Chetak Specification||TVS iQube Electric Specification|
|Length/Width/Height||1,970 mm/745 mm/1,145 mm||1,805 mm/645 mm/1,140 mm|
|Ground Clearance||170 mm||150 mm|
|Battery||2.89 kWh Li-ion||2.25 kWh (usable) Li-ion|
|Charging Time||5 hours||Approximately 5 hours|
|Power||4.08 kW||4.4 kW|
|Top Speed||70 km/h||78 km/h|
|Range||85+ km (Sport mode)/95+ km (Eco mode)||55 km (Power mode)/75 km (Eco mode)|
Bajaj Chetak vs. TVS iQube Electric – Price
Bajaj Auto sells the Chetak in Premium and Urbane variants. The Premium variant is available in four metallic colours: Hazelnut, Indigo Metallic, Brooklyn Black and Velutto Rosso. It costs INR 1.15 lakh (ex-showroom). The Urbane variant is available in solid colours Cyber White and Citrus Rush. It costs INR 1 lakh (ex-showroom). Bajaj Auto promises a 70,000 km battery life and provides a 3-year/50,000 km warranty on the battery.
The TVS iQube Electric comes in white and costs INR 1.15 lakh (on-road, Bengaluru). The price includes 3-year warranty (up to 50,000 km), lifetime SmartXonnect basic features, 1-year SmartXonnect advanced subscription and 1-year roadside assistance.