Chetak has quite a few USPs including steel body, IP67 water resistance, soft-touch switches and solid gear drive
After roughly two decades when Bajaj had made the shift from scooters to focus exclusively on motorcycles, the company re-entered the scooter segment with Chetak in 2020. At the time of its launch, Chetak electric scooter was offered only in Pune and Bengaluru. Since then, the company has continuously expanded Chetak’s presence in new states and cities.
Bajaj Chetak Electric Scooter – 20 cities covered
As of now, Chetak is available across 11 states. These include Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Daman & Diu, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal. Chetak is available in 20 cities. It includes Visakhapatnam, Mapusa, Surat, Bangalore, Mangalore, Mysore, Hubli, Cochin, Kozhikode, Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
Now that the pandemic situation has started to ease, Bajaj will be working on Chetak’s expansion plans in a more aggressive manner. According to Rakesh Sharma, executive director at Bajaj Auto, there are plans to double Chetak’s network over the next few weeks. It seems doable since Bajaj is primarily utilizing its existing KTM dealerships for Chetak. Some cities do have exclusive experience centres for Chetak.
Established manufacturers like Bajaj have ready resources to make new products available across India at short notice. TVS also has this advantage, which it has been utilizing for its iQube electric scooter. TVS is also working proactively to make iQube available in more cities across the country.
|Sales Last 12 Months||Chetak||iQube|
|Avg Per Month||526||608|
In comparison, newer companies have to take care of both production and expanding the dealer network. Everything has to be done from scratch essentially. In electric two-wheeler space, startups like Ather Energy, Okinawa, Ampere, Revolt, etc. have had to face such challenges.
Some startups like Ola Electric have taken a completely different approach, wherein the entire sales and after-sales process is managed online. Ola does not operate any dealerships, which can have significant advantages in terms of cost cutting and operations management. However, it remains to be seen if this radical approach to sales and distribution will continue to be beneficial with a larger customer base.
Even though established players like Bajaj and TVS have ready resources in terms of sales and distribution, it is startups that are leading in electric two-wheeler space. EVs from companies like Hero Electric, Okinawa, Ather, Ampere are currently ahead of Chetak and iQube in terms of sales. Several other startups including Ola Electric and Simple Energy will be fighting for the top slots in this space in coming months.
While Chetak is a well-equipped scooter, its high pricing makes it inaccessible to a significant percentage of EV buyers. With no indications of a price revision, it appears that Bajaj will continue to position Chetak as a premium lifestyle EV product. Playing the numbers game with Chetak may not be the company’s priority right now. It is possible that an entirely new, affordably priced mass market product could be launched in future.