After a weak beginning to this financial year in terms of sales, things finally seem to be improving for the Bajaj Chetak electric scooter
Bajaj Chetak was reintroduced earlier this year in India, after its discontinuation a decade and a half ago, but this time as an electric scooter. Sadly, the timing for the launch wasn’t the most opportune, as the pandemic hit the already-struggling Indian market a while later, causing a massive sales slump.
From April to June 2020, Bajaj Auto was unable to sell a single unit of the Chetak EV, which is as surprising as it is disappointing. The situation seems to slowly be improving though, as July 2020 saw the dispatch of 120 units of the electric scooters, thus recording a 100 per cent increase in sales on an MoM basis. As the Chetak wasn’t available in the market last year, there are no YoY figures to report.
One of the biggest rivals of the Chetak, TVS iQube, was able to sell only 23 units last month, which is just 19.16 per cent of the Bajaj’s electric scooter. That said, TVS was able to retail a total of 50 units from April to June 2020, which is obviously more than that of the Chetak during the same period, although Bajaj still trumps in total sales figures yet achieved during FY2020-21.
The Bajaj Chetak EV is priced at Rs. 1 lakh (ex-showroom price), and is powered by a 3kWh battery, which is paired to an electric motor. This powerplant is rated a 4.8kW (6.5 PS) of maximum power and 16 Nm of peak torque. The torque is quite impressive, especially for a city commuter, although the power output is lower compared to equivalent petrol-powered scooters.
The driving range of the Chetak is claimed at 95 km (in Eco mode), and it can be charged up to 80 per cent in just 3.5 hours via a regular 15 amp power outlet. The e-scooter takes around 5 hours to charge completely from 0 per cent battery level.
Bajaj has also given the Chetak a slew of premium features, like a full metal body, front disc brake, LED lights all-around, and Bluetooth-enabled fully-digital LCD instrument cluster. One interesting innovation on the Chetak is the ‘reverse gear’, which is essentially a reverse driving mode that allows the rider to back out of tight parking spaces with ease.