Bajaj Chetak Electric is currently on sale only in Pune and Bangalore – Has sold over 800 units in the last three months
Bajaj Auto has been contemplating on expansion of its electric scooter offering Chetak Electric to a wider network. It has been reported that the homegrown two-wheeler manufacturer is eyeing to add as many as 30 new cities to its existing network across the country by March 2022.
The above development was recently confirmed by Rakesh Sharma, Executive Director, Bajaj Auto, in an interview with Live Mint. A full-scale nationwide rollout could become possible only after Phase-1 of the expansion plan takes effect. This can be achieved thanks to a drastic increase in production capacity after the opening of the second facility in Chakan.
Bajaj’s New Manufacturing Facility
Earlier this month, Bajaj revealed its plans of opening a new manufacturing facility, the second in Chakan and will be used to manufacture Chetak e-cooter along with models from joint ventures such as Triumph, KTM and Husqvarna. The brand is looking to invest Rs 650 crores in developing this new facility.
If everything goes as planned, Bajaj can start production of Chetak Electric at this new facility by 2023. Sharma also confirmed that this facility will be reserved for assembly of premium bikes and electric two-wheelers.
Bajaj launched the Chetak electric scooter earlier this year in two cities- Pune and Bengaluru in order to receive consumers’ feedback and understand how they use this vehicle. Before making this new concept a pan-India offering, Bajaj wanted to test the market with a premium offering.
However, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent nationwide lockdown, resulted in supply chain constraints which is why Bajaj had to halt production of the electric scooter.
Expansion of EV Network
Due to this, the company had to stop accepting further orders from Chetak Electric and hold back its expansion plans. Currently, Bajaj is focused on completing the impending orders before the year comes to a close. With things improving in the last couple of months Bajaj is now looking to quicken its production speed. Like Ather Energy, Bajaj would expand its network for its high-speed e-scooter offering to Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities first.
The bikemaker has circled out locations such as Delhi, Chennai, Vizag, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Goa as part of the Phase I expansion plan. Chetak Electric has so far received a very healthy response from the two cities it is available in. The e-scooter has raked in over 800 units of sales volume in the last three months.
Such has been its positive response and that one of its rival companies has bought two units of Chetak Electric and shipped it to its R&D facility in Japan. Bajaj tracked down these two units using their GPS at its rival’s Japanese R&D facility. The company could be Yamaha, Suzuki or Honda. Currently, Chetak Electric competes against the likes of TVS iQube and Ather 450X.