One of the reasons for introducing more localization for Chetak could be a shortage of imported components.
The Bajaj Chetak electric scooter was introduced in January 2020 and features an elegant design, vibrant colour options, metal body, connected technology, and keyless start. However, because the pandemic struck so soon after its release, Chetak was never able to fully realise its potential. Even now, the auto industry is experiencing a shortage of semiconductor chips and other parts.
Bajaj Chetak will be more localised in 2022
Bajaj is working on a new version of Chetak, so things should improve in the future. It will have a higher level of localization, reducing reliance on imported components. One of the major changes, as revealed in the Type Approval Certificate, is the addition of a new, more powerful motor. It has a peak output of 4.2 kW and a continuous output of 4.0 kW.
The current Chetak model, on the other hand, is powered by a Bosch-sourced motor. It has a peak power of 4.08 kW and a peak continuous output of 3.8 kW. Other critical components, such as the battery pack, are likely to see increased localization as well. The new Chetak could be released soon now that the Type Approval Certificate is in place.
Chetak at a lower price?
One question is whether the 2022 Bajaj Chetak Electric Scooter will be less expensive than the current model. In most cases, a higher level of localization aids in the reduction of production costs. Chetak may benefit from lower prices due to fierce competition in the electric scooter market. There are a number of products that are not only less expensive than Chetak, but also claim to provide better performance and range.
The Bajaj Chetak is one of the most expensive electric scooters in its class right now. Even with the FAME subsidy, the starting price in Delhi is close to Rs 1.48 lakh. It will be difficult to generate large sales volumes at this price.
A price of around Rs 1 lakh (including FAME subsidy) will be far more appealing to most buyers. The TVS iQube, which costs Rs 1.01 lakh in Delhi, is a good example (inclusive of FAME II subsidy). In terms of performance, range, and top speed, the iQube and Chetak are very similar.
Consider the Ola S1 electric scooter, which is available in several states for less than Rs 1 lakh. The Ola S1 is priced at Rs 85,009 in Delhi (effective ex-showroom including FAME II subsidy). It claims to have better numbers, such as a top speed of 90 kmph and a range of 121 kilometres.
Bajaj’s new electric vehicle plant
Bajaj is currently constructing a new electric vehicle plant in Pune to strengthen its position in the market. The location is the same as where the first petrol-powered Chetak was built. A new Bajaj electric vehicle plant is being built at a cost of Rs 300 crore (approx. USD 40 million). When fully operational, the plant will be able to produce 5 lakh electric vehicles per year.
Scooters, motorcycles, and commercial vehicles will all be produced at the new plant. Apart from Chetak, this facility will also produce Husqvarna electric scooters and motorcycles. Electric vehicles made in the United States will serve both domestic and international markets.