Chetak launched at Rs 1 lakh
After teasing the crowds with sneak peeks, and raising interest with the Delhi-Pune Chetak Electric Yatra, Bajaj Auto has finally launched its Chetak electric scooter at a price of Rs 1 lakh (ex-showroom) for the base Urbane variant and Rs 1.15 for the Premium variant, both of which were showcased today.
The Chetak is powered by an IP67-compliant electric motor making 3800W (capable of 4080W of peak power) mated to a 3kWH Li-ion battery. The battery can be charged using a standard household 5-15amp electric outlet (with a charging time of one hour giving 25 per cent charge and upto 100 per cent charge in five hours) and provides a claimed range of 85km in Sport mode and 95km on Eco mode, with regenerative braking also on offer. Like most of the other electric vehicles, the Chetak also gets keyless operation, and a reverse assist mode, to help riders easily get it out of tight parking spots. And for the enthusiasts, the intuitive Kickdown mode on offer switches the Chetak to Sport mode (from Eco mode, if engaged) when it senses sustained acceleration, usually sensed during overtaking manoeuvres.
Now, since the original Chetak was derived from the Vespa, there are a few similar styling cues in its modern iteration as well. The Chetak of today gets a full metal body, a single-sided swingarm and an off-set monoshock, making it look quite premium, especially considering the other electric offerings in the market (with the exception of Ather 450). It also gets all-LED illumination with DRL as well as sequential indicators, and a digital instrument cluster with a satin chrome bezel. Across variants, the Chetak shows only minor aesthetic differences, save for the Premium variant employing a disc brake up front, instead of the drum brakes that the Urbane variant makes do with.
Additionally, going with the connected vehicle theme, owners can pair their phone to the Chetak, giving them real-time updates on battery charge status, remaining range, current location and also notifies the owner in case of any unauthorised movement or accident/defect. Also, the purchase of the Chetak gets owners a one year free data subscription.
Moving to the purchase experience, and Bajaj intends to ease the customer’s ownership experience by introducing a fully digital sales network. Showrooms, or experience centers, are already in construction, with four to be set up in Pune and 13 in Bengaluru. The in-store digital agent will also be a unique element in the entire purchase process. And as with most electric vehicle manufacturers, the brand will set up a home charging station for Chetak owners free of charge.
Bajaj has introduced the Chetak at a price point where it goes up against the Ather 450, already an established name in the domain, which retails for Rs 1.14 lakh. Additionally, the soon-to-be-launched Ather 450X (although proposed as an invite-only product) might just heat up the game further, with promises of snazzier looks, a bigger motor and better performance. Whatever be the case, us enthusiasts are happy to know that the electric scooter market is finally offering products that will give us the Thrill of Riding.