Piaggio recently went up against Chinese copycats of its Vespa Primavera scooter with the support of EUIPO
Bajaj Auto has officially patented the design of its Chetak e-scooter with EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office). In other words, Bajaj has revealed its plans to enter European markets where scooters (especially urban e-scooters) see immense demand. It was in February 2020 that the Indian automaker filed the patent application. It is valid till November 2029.
With plagiarism or copycats on the rise in the world of automobiles, Bajaj Auto has taken the right step. In fact, Piaggio Group recently shared that it won a legal battle against Chinese copycats of its Vespa Primavera scooter with the support of EUIPO.
The Italian automotive group had lodged a complaint against a “design registered by a Chinese party” that looks almost identical to the Vespa after it was showcased at EICMA 2019. Apparently, a Pontedera-based legal team do a full walkaround at each instalment of EICMA in search of potential violators of Piaggio’s trademark design.
Piaggio Group claims that it has cancelled “more than 50 trademarks registered by third parties” in just about two years’ time. Though the usual culprits are lesser-known Chinese automakers, there have been incidents involving European brands as well. We don’t understand why it is so hard to design and develop something that is not another Vespa.
Coming back to the Bajaj Chetak, the electric scooter was launched in January 2020 at a starting price of Rs 1 lakh ex-showroom. It comes in two formats: Urbane and Premium. The latter variant is dearer by Rs 15,000 and is equipped with more features but the same internals. At this price point, the Chetak directly rivals TVS Motor Company’s iQube.
The 2020MY Bajaj Chetak is powered by a 3kWh IP67-rated lithium-ion battery. Peak output stands at 4.8kW (6.44bhp) and 16Nm of torque. It has a claimed range of around 95km on a full charge while 0-100% charging times come under five hours. There are two riding modes: Eco and Sport. In each mode, there is a noticeable difference in performance and range characteristics.
In the months to come, one would be able to witness a growing demand for emission-free two-wheelers. E-scooters arguably make more sense in urban environments compared to an average petrol-CVT scooter such as the Honda Activa. Ola Electric, an EV brand under Ola Cabs, has realised this and plans to launch its first product (based on Etergo AppScooter) in India sometime next year.