Amaan AhmedSep 29, 2021 13:24:24 IST
The Bajaj Chetak has witnessed yet another substantial hike in price – the third such increase in 2021 – that has made it the most expensive electric scooter on sale in India today. The ex-showroom price of the Bajaj Chetak in its home state of Maharashtra is now Rs 1,87,390; a significant increase on its ex-showroom price of Rs 1,44,987 up until a few months ago. Compared to its price at launch in 2020, the Chetak’s price has risen by well over 60 percent in less than two years’ time.
The latest price hike was introduced after the Central government increased the FAME-II subsidy for electric two-wheelers, and under the revised national scheme, the Chetak is eligible for a substantially higher Rs 45,000 incentive. However, despite the increase in subsidy, the latest price hike means customers still pay roughly the same amount of money for the Chetak on-road as before.
Even with the higher FAME-II subsidy factored in, the Chetak’s on-road price in Maharashtra is Rs 1,48,452, which isn’t too far off its old on-road price (Rs 1,51,680). Once the additional subsidy (including both base and early bird incentives) is taken into account, the Chetak’s on-road price in Maharashtra comes down by a further Rs 25,000 to Rs 1,23,452. However, even at that price, the Chetak is a little more expensive than its main rival, the Ather 450X, with the latter priced at Rs 1,22,741.
In the three other states where it’s on sale at present (Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu), the Chetak’s ex-showroom price is around the Rs 1.90 lakh mark, and with the FAME-II subsidy factored in, the on-road price is a little over Rs 1.50 lakh, which makes it a tad more expensive than the Ather 450X in these states as well.
Additionally, Bajaj has discontinued the base Urbane variant of the Chetak electric scooter. Available in just two colours (which have also been withdrawn) and equipped with a drum brake up front, the Chetak Urbane offered limited choices to the buyer. With the Urbane being cheaper by only a few thousand rupees, most Chetak buyers ended up opting for the better-equipped Premium variant, following which Bajaj decided to pull the plug on the base model and retail the Chetak in a single variant, a source told Tech2.
The Chetak packs a 3.8kW/4.1kW (continuous/peak power) electric motor, which draws power from a 3 kWh lithium-ion battery. Range is pegged at 95 kilometres in Eco mode (85 kilometres in Sport mode), and the company says a full charge takes five hours. The Chetak’s battery comes with a three-year/50,000-kilometre warranty. Waiting periods for the Chetak are in the range of two to three months at present, Tech2 has learned.
At a time when rival Ather Energy is pursuing an aggressive expansion strategy and disruptor Ola Electric is offering the S1, a more feature-rich electric scooter with better performance and range at a lower price, progress for the Bajaj Chetak has been relatively slow, with Bajaj rolling it out in other cities in phases. It remains to be seen if nostalgia will continue to draw buyers to the Chetak or if the substantially increased prices will repel them, as the reborn icon faces fierce competition from newer, better-equipped e-scooters available for around the same price or even less.