Bajaj Chetak, the iconic two wheeler, is back after a hiatus of 14 years. Bajaj Auto last sold Chetak nearly 14 years ago and the new model is coming in a different avatar. While the last model was powered by an internal combustion engine, the new variant is an all-electric two-wheeler for the Indian market. The Chetak Electric is also the first all-electric two-wheeler from Bajaj. The Chetak is not only about electrification but it is also modern in very sense of the automotive industry.
It features a modern design that borrows bits of nostalgia from older Chetak’s boxy design. It is not as muscular in shape as its predecessor but it is a blend of retro and modern automotive design. From the front, it seems to borrow design elements from Piaggio Vespa while the overall shape is identical to Yamaha’s Fascino. Bajaj is not announcing the price of Chetak just yet and plans to announce more details in January 2020. It is among the new breed of automobiles that aim to appeal to consumers looking for ways to go green without compromise on style or driving.
To recall, Chetak has been a household name in the Indian automotive scene during its entire production run. The demand soared to such heights that waiting list extended beyond a year. Named after Maharana Pratap’s horse, Chetak was powered by a 150cc two-stroke engine. Now, the engine has been replaced with an electric drivetrain. It is rated for 95km on a single charge in eco mode and 85km in sport mode. Bajaj does not plan to offer portable or swappable battery packs with its Chetak Electric.
Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Bajaj Auto said the production for Chetak began in September this year. Even if it does not succeed with Chetak in India, it is looking at a massive export opportunity. The company exported 40 percent of its total production last year. With demand for electric mobility on a rise in the US and Europe, Chetak might prove popular in those markets. A lot of details about the electric two-wheeler remain unknown at this point.
The Chetak Electric owners will reportedly be able to charge the two-wheeler using a 5-15A socket. However, the exact details of the charging station remains unknown. Bengaluru-based startup Ather has set up its own charging stations to speed up the process. Bajaj has not announced any such plans. With the government relaxing norms around charging stations and home-based charging, electric vehicles are only expected to grow in terms of sales and volume. With Chetak, Bajaj has a vehicle that is not only nostalgic but also dream for those who could not get the ICE-powered model during its production run.