Bajaj Chetak, the iconic two-wheeler is back after 14 years, and the new model is coming in a different avatar. The e-Chetak is modeled around original Chetak, the popular geared scooter of the 1960s and 70s. While the last model was powered by an internal combustion engine, the new variant is an all-electric two-wheeler for the Indian market. The Chetak Electric is also the first all-electric two-wheeler from Bajaj. The Chetak is not only about electrification but it is also modern in the very sense of the automotive industry.
The Chetak will use a 4kW electric motor and while exact battery specs have not been revealed so far, the e-scooter will use an IP67-rated lithium-ion battery pack. As per in-house, real-world testing done by Bajaj Auto, the Chetak can run for 95 km on the Eco mode and 85 km in the Sports mode. The ARAI test range is expected to be closer to 150 km.
Chetak has been embedded with mobility solutions like data communication, security, and user authentication. A mobile app will provide a comprehensive overview of ride history.
The new Chetak features a hypnotic horseshoe-shaped LED headlight with DRLs, electronic switches and sequential scrolling LED blinkers. A large digital console intuitively displays vehicle information with crisp clarity.
Chetak’s battery will take 5-6 hours to get fully charged. There is no option of a fast charge. The batteries are not swappable and are fixed to the vehicle. The Chetak will make use of a standard 5 amp electric socket for power which is the same used by a cell phone.
As per the company, this new product is made at a temperature-controlled, facility at Chakan, to exacting standards using the best material and robotic technology.
The new Bajaj Chetak will be commercially launched in January 2020, when more details will be announced. The Chetak will be part of a new vertical of electric vehicles under the Urbanite brand, and will also include electric three-wheelers and electric quadricycles. The Chetak will be the first electric vehicle to roll out under the Urbanite vertical.
Bajaj Auto plans to roll out the scooter in the coming January in Pune followed by Bangalore. Further expansion is dependent on responses from these two cities.
With the government relaxing norms around charging stations and home-based charging, electric vehicles are only expected to grow in terms of sales and volume. Chetak will compete against e-scooters from Ather, Okinawa, Hero Electric and e-scooters from a host of other start-up companies. Some of these electric scooters have a better range and shorter charging time than the Chetak. Moreover, Bengaluru-based startup Ather has set up its own charging stations to speed up the process, whereas Bajaj has not announced any such plans.