When Bajaj decided to enter into the electric vehicle segment, it fittingly named the first electric scooter as Chetak. This was done to pay tribute to an old vehicle that was probably the most used two-wheeler in India and its name had become synonymous with two-wheelers back in the good old days.
While it’s not clear if it is nostalgia or the quality of the new electric scooter or even both of these coupled with the limited options of good electric scooters, the new Bajaj Chetak has been in high demand ever since the announcement. The company recently resumed online booking for the scooter, however, decided to pause it once again due to “high demand”.
Apart from the sudden brakes on online bookings, Bajaj has also increased the price of its electric two-wheeler. The Chetak, a name that was tantamount to affordable personal transportation, comes in a couple of variants – Urbane and Premium and are now priced at Rs. 1,42,620 and Rs 1,44,620 respectively. This incidentally is the second price hike in as many months. Last month the price of these scooters was hiked by Rs. 5000 and now the price has been increased by around Rs. 27000 in the latest round.
Pricey and unavailable
At the current selling price, the Bajaj Chetak e-scooter is priced almost similar to another premium electric scooter Ather 450X that sells between Rs. 1.28 lakh going all the way up to Rs. 1.47 lakh for the top-end variant. Talking about a slightly cheaper option, we have the TVS iQube that sells around Rs. 1.08 lakh in Delhi thanks to the Fame II subsidies and around Rs. 130,000 at most other places.
Incidentally, Bajaj has also announced that it is adding Chennai and Hyderabad to the list of cities where the battery-powered Chetak will be available to purchase. Earlier, the sales were limited to Pune and Bangalore only.
Both Ather and Bajaj claim that their scooters are selling in huge numbers, however, these are premium electric two-wheelers that are not helping the cause by offering mass adoption of electric vehicles in India. While Ather has added multiple new cities to its repertoire, Bajaj is only retailing in 4 cities of India.
On the other hand, Ola Electric, the EV arm of OLA, had recently stated that it would introduce a new smart e-scooter soon. This scooter is aimed at the mass market and hence Ola wants to manufacture these scooters on a large scale and has hinted that the scooter will be priced aggressively.