Bajaj announced its comeback in the scooter segment with its vintage scooter brand ‘Bajaj Chetak’ after 14 years and the Millenials cannot stop nostalgic moments. Chetak has been one of the most sold and successful scooters of India and now the company has announced its comeback in an electronic mode.
In the past few years, Bajaj has only been focusing on developing motorcycles. However, on 16th October, the company announced its comeback in the scooter segment, with its brand new Chetak. This is Bajaj’s first step towards electrifying its two-wheeler business with its new Urbanite sub-division.
Bajaj started Chetak’s production on September 25, 2019. However, there is no revelation regarding the pricing of the model for now. But it has been hinted that it will be a premium two-wheeler. The final prices will be revealed on its launch in January 2020. The vehicle has further been qualified for FAME II subsidy. Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India’ (FAME-II) scheme is a programme launched by the government of India to motivate manufacturers to start developing electric two-wheelers.
Bajaj Auto’s Managing Director, Rajiv Bajaj said “I hesitate to call it aggressive pricing, but it’ll be priced attractively. It will not go as high as Rs 1.5 lakh.” As per the reports, Bajaj is aiming to move towards Bengaluru after Pune, as the company is focusing on studying the market response of the product before moving to other cities.
Powe, Battery & Motor
The New Bajaj Chetak is powered with a 4kW electric motor. The exact battery specs have not yet been confirmed by the manufacturers but it will us an IP67-rated lithium-ion battery pack. Further, the reports suggest that the battery may not be removable, but there is no surety about it right now.
As told, the scooter will have 2 models; Eco & Sports, each having a battery life of 85Km & 95 Km per charge. Respectively. The figures were achieved through real-world testing within Pune city. However, Bajaj claims that ARAI figures will be higher.
The vehicle can be charged using the regular 5-ampere home outlet plug (easily available) with the help of inbuilt charger in the vehicle. The vehicle will get charged within 5 hours. It comes without a DC fast charging feature.
Apart from this, a home-charging station will be sold separately at a nominal cost. It will be like a power bank and will show the amount of charge & energy consumed.
Bajaj has gone a step further by automating the high-efficiency gearbox by using a swingarm-mounted motor. The digital display consists of Neutral light & 5 notches, probably to depict 5 gears. It is expected that the whole system will be automated.
Suspensions, Brakes and Safety
The New Bajaj Chetak will have a single-sided trailing arm front suspension with an exposed external spring Coilover setup. The rear suspensions are mono-shock. Further, the scooter runs on a disc-brake system at the front and has a drum brake at the rear. Apart from this, the 12-inch wheels are encompassed in MRF Zapper-K tyres. The scooter is expected to come with regenerative braking.
Styling, Looks and features
Although Chetak has been a nostalgic symbol for Bajaj, yet Bajaj has experimented the brand name with new looks. It has adopted a shiny retro look for styling the scooter. The scooter has multi-spoke alloy wheels with curvy side panels and wide front. A sleek LED DRL outlines the shape of the headlight and the indicators are operated through scrolling function switch like that in new-age Audis and the switchgear. It is said to be ‘feather-touch activated’. Apart from this, the new Chetak comes with a standard keyless start function. Although the new scooter resembles a lot like Yamaha’s Fascino, it still has many different things to offer.
Bajaj is offering the new Chetak Scooter in six different colours including classic ivory and gold as exhibited during the event. The body is metal and not fibre or plastic. There is an added retro style glove box but with modern soft-close effect and the classic seat has a unique cantilever design while maintaining the comfort.
Bajaj has further taken the two-wheeler gameplay to another level by equipping the vehicle with the newest features. Bajaj e-Chetak will behave vehicle parameter monitoring as well as security, which are likely to be enabled using data-connectivity. Further, as per reports, a special mobile application will allow the users to get a comprehensive overview of many aspects of the vehicle and ride history.
Further, Bajaj has assured that it will stick to its existing retail two-wheeler network to market the Chetak e-scooter.
Author: Keshav Kothari
A young CA Aspirant who is a writer and a photographer with the zeal to convey a positive perception through his work.