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Bajaj Chetak back In EV avatar

02/11/2019 | Author: Autoguide | 0 Comments Back To Home   < Previous News   |   Next news >

Bajaj Chetak E-Scooter launch ceremony

Bajaj Auto has returned to the scooter market with an electric avatar of the iconic Chetak after over a decade. The vehicle will go on sale in Pune and Bangalore early next year. 
The company will gauge customer response and preparedness of the electric vehicle ecosystem before expanding operations to other locations. It last rolled out scooter Kristal in 2007.
Bajaj Auto Managing Director Mr Rajiv Bajaj drew on the words of Alibaba founder Mr Jack Ma to explain the company’s foray into the country’s fledgling electric vehicle space. He said if the company were to wait for the environment and the policy framework to be ready, it would lose out on the opportunity, the advantage a first-mover would have in the segment. 
“The biggest hurdle in electric vehicles in not the price, the charging infrastructure or range anxiety but the dilemma in the mind of the manufacturer...that it will sell the electric vehicle in place of something making money”, Mr Bajaj told the Economic Times.
He added the company’s decision to enter the electric vehicle space with a scooter has enabled it to side-step the issue as it currently does not have any product in the category. Mr Bajaj said the scooter will not be priced more than Rs 1.5 lakh. He said the company will burn money on sale of the vehicle but the recent government measure reducing corporate tax will enable it to absorb the financial impact. 
As far as volumes are concerned, the company will continue to focus on its core motorcycles’ business, but will simultaneously work on developing “meaningful niches” with electric vehicles, electric three-wheelers and premium motorcycles under KTM, Triumph and Husqvarna brands, said Mr Bajaj.
Interestingly, the launch of an electric scooter from the company came within months of Mr Bajaj opposing a proposal from the Government think-tank NITI Aayog asking vehicle manufacturers to make only electric three-wheelers and two-wheelers in the country by 2023 and 2025 respectively. 
The Chetak will be manufactured at Bajaj Auto’s manufacturing unit in Chakan, Maharashtra. The vehicle will deliver a range of 95 km in economy mode and 85 km in sports mode, the company said. The electric scooter will be retailed through the company’s Probiking outlets in India. It will be exported to relevant markets in Europe starting 2020. 

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