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Sunday 7 June 2020

Bajaj brings Chetak back to market in electric avatar

Managing Director of Bajaj Auto Rajiv Bajaj said that he wanted to enter the electric vehicles segment before the competition among the two-wheeler-making companies



Bajaj Auto, once the market leader in the two-wheeler segment of the automobile sector, on Wednesday relaunched its old brand Chetak in a new avatar after nearly 14 years. The mileage of this scooter will be higher than all the two-wheelers currently running on Indian roads. But the pricing of Chetak may drop a few jaws or put many potential customers off altogether.

Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari unveiled the new-look Chetak in the presence of Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive of NITI Aayog and Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of Bajaj Auto at a function today.

Two-wheeler and three-wheeler maker Bajaj has relaunched its once-popular scooter brand Chetak in an electric model. However, the sale of this battery-powered scooter will start in Pune from January onwards next year. After that, it will be taken to other markets of the country including Bengaluru.

Chetak will be manufactured at the company’s Chakan plant. It will be sold through the company’s pro-biking dealers. Bajaj has planned to take the scooter to European markets, too, next year.

On the occasion of the relaunch, Bajaj said that he wanted to enter the electric vehicles segment before the competition among the two-wheeler-making companies. The company has not yet revealed the price of the e-scooter officially, but it said that it will not be more than Rs 1.50 lakh.

Gadkari said that the future of the automobile industry lay in environment-friendly technologies. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had on 5 July in her Budget presentation hiked tax on petrol and diesel, raised import duty on gold, levied an additional surcharge on super-rich and brought a tax on high-value cash withdrawals as she sought to spur growth with a reduction in corporate tax and sops to the housing sector, startups and electric vehicles.

Bajaj started production of its new electronic Chetak scooter on 25 September. The design of Chetak is inspired by the classic European style. In its front, the scooter has a rounded look. It has wide front aprons with curvy side panels. It has multi-spoke alloy wheels, too.

According to the company, this new scooter of Bajaj will give a mileage of about 95 km on a full charge, which will reduce to 85 km per full charge in the sports mode. In addition, the new Bajaj Chetak scooter will directly compete with Ather 450.

The company’s managing director Rajiv Bajaj indicated on the occasion of the relaunch that the price will be less than Rs 1.5 lakh. However, informed sources believe that the company can bring it to the market at a price between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1.20 lakh.


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