tech2 News StaffApr 15, 2021 19:02:37 IST
The Bajaj Chetak electric scooter has received its second price hike in 2021. Launched in January 2020 at a starting price of Rs 1 lakh, the Bajaj Chetak range now starts at Rs 1.43 lakh (ex-showroom), which is a jump of nearly Rs 28,000 compared to its price before the latest hike. Earlier this year, the Chetak’s starting price was increased by Rs 15,000, so the range started at Rs 1.15 lakh, but the second hike has had a significant impact on the price of Bajaj’s e-scooter, which is currently on sale only in two Indian cities – Bengaluru and Pune.
With this hike, the Bajaj Chetak now costs more than the Ather 450 Plus e-scooter, and sits closer to the Ather 450X e-scooter – which has an ex-showroom price of Rs 1.56 lakh in Pune – in terms of price. Given the Rs 1.43 lakh price is for the base Urbane variant, it’s safe to say the higher-spec Chetak Premium’s price will be closer to the Rs 1.50 lakh mark. However, the company hasn’t revealed if it has made any changes or additions to the Chetak that may be one of the factors for the rise in prices.
Bookings for the Bajaj Chetak were paused in 2020 as the company grappled with complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Online bookings were reopened on 13 April – on the occasion of Gudi Padwa – for prospective customers in Bengaluru and Pune, but were closed once again in less than 48 hours as Bajaj said it received ‘a large number of confirmed orders’. The Chetak is sold out for the first quarter of FY2022, and in a statement, Bajaj said it will ‘review the supply situation and announce the next round of bookings’ as it continues to battle supply chain issues.
Dealers are currently quoting a waiting period of anywhere between one to two months for customers with a confirmed booking, and only expect to take fresh orders for the e-scooter sometime after June.
Speaking about the current status of the Chetak, Rakesh Sharma, Executive Director at Bajaj Auto Ltd., said, “COVID-19-led disruptions last year resulted in an unintended and long waiting period, but despite that we have seen very few cancellations of bookings. We are conscious that customers would like to receive early deliveries of Chetak and start enjoying it as soon as possible, hence we have had to take the difficult decision of closing the bookings in view of continuing supply chain uncertainties. However, it is our endeavour to resolve the supply chain issues at the earliest, re-open bookings as well as roll into more cities within the next quarter.”
The Chetak packs a 3.8kW/4.1kW (continuous/peak power) electric motor, which draws power from a lithium-ion battery. Range is pegged at 95 kilometres in Eco mode (85 kilometres in Sport mode), and the company says a full charge takes five hours. The Chetak’s battery comes with a three-year/50,000-kilometre warranty.
In terms of features, the top-spec Chetak Premium gets multiple metallic colour options, a front disc brake, a different seat and metallic-finish wheels. The Chetak Urbane, meanwhile, is available in just two colours and gets a drum brake up front.
Bajaj has opened and closed bookings for the Chetak yet again, at a time when other electric scooter manufacturers are making inroads into new markets. Ather Energy has commenced operations in several Indian cities already, and Ola Electric is looking to make a grand entry into the sector with the launch of its first e-scooter by the middle of 2021.