Bajaj Auto, once India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, is preparing to launch its all-new, assembled electric model Chetak from its new manufacturing facility by mid-2022. This time around, they are making sure to get the right prize to avoid challenges like those they faced in Bajaj Chetak EV 2021.
For those who missed the action, Bajaj launched his electric scooter and named it Chetak to evoke nostalgia for India’s first indigenous two-wheeler. Due to the high demand, online reservations have been cut off several times. If that wasn’t enough, they raised the prices, much to the chagrin of would-be owners.
The two price hikes increased the cost to nearly a third of its introductory price in January 2020. The first hike was 5,000 rupees and the second was 27,000 rupees. The bicycle, which costs between Rs.1 lakh and Rs. 1.15 lakh now costs Rs.1.42 lakh. The reason is that the company got their prices wrong, resulting in losses for every unit sold.
Bajaj Chetak EV – indigenization and lower prices
The company hopes for lower manufacturing costs once the new, state-of-the-art plant is commissioned. The factory built at Akurdi in Pune, can produce 500,000 vehicles per year and allow the development of an ecosystem of components in and around the factory, thus reducing dependence on imports.
A report published in RushLane suggests that Bajaj Auto is aware of the chipset challenges it faced following the pandemic-triggered lockdown in March 2020. Now they plan to meet a substantial portion of their component needs locally, although ‘It is not yet clear whether indigenization would be 100 percent.
However, we can be sure of one thing. That the next Chetak EV can be priced lower, thanks to the indigenization levels. Since the company has a large manufacturing capacity as well, it appears Bajaj would be looking to make profit on a large scale and not through higher unit margins.
According to reports of the new Bajaj Chetak EV, the vehicle could deliver a maximum power of 4.2 W and continuous power of 4 kW compared to its predecessor which delivered 4.08 and 3.8 kW respectively.
The current Chetak EV sells for Rs 1.48 lakhs which is slightly higher than its competitors like Ola S1 and TUV iQube with a price of around Rs 1 lakh. Although several electric vehicles are cheaper and claim to perform better than the current Chetak. The new Chetak 2022 surely has an opportunity to dominate the electric scooter market with an affordable price.
Bajaj Chetak Electric – models, features and prices
Bajaj Chetak Electric currently has two variants – Urbane and Premium. Besides the different color options, the main difference is the inclusion of drum brakes on the first and disc brakes on the second.
The rest of the specs are the same, which includes a 4kW motor capable of producing 16Nm of torque. A 3 kWh lithium-ion battery powers the scooter and has an estimated range of over 95 km in eco mode and over 85 km in faster sport mode. The top speed is around 80 km / h.
Bajaj Auto has also increased the price of its electric two-wheeler. The Chetak, a name that equated to affordable personal transport, comes in a few variations – Urbane and Premium and is now priced at Rs. 1,42620 and Rs. 1,4,620 respectively.
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