Bajaj Auto Ltd – country’s second largest motorcycle manufacturer – on Wednesday announced its second innings the in the scooter segment, almost after a decade, with the launch of its electric scooter named, Chetak. The Pune based company did not reveal the price of the product and will reveal it before starting the dispatches to dealer ships.
Bajaj stopped manufacturing traditional scooters around 2009, in order to focus more on motorcycles segment.
The new Chetak will be available with two variants which will offer range of 85 kilometre and 95 kilometre, respectively.
According to Rajiv Bajaj, vehicles like scooters and three wheelers which are more used in the urban space, there is a potential for such vehicles in the electric space. Electric vehicles are inevitable will come in every segment.
“When we do something it’s better to come first and there is virtually no point coming second or third. It’s very important to be first to market. Scooters and step-through are a very important segment and we have not made the electric Chetak to be in the volume space. We are trying build meaningful niches with three wheelers, super bikes and electric scooters,” added Bajaj.
The company will start selling the electric scooter in January from Pune and later in Bangalore. Subsequent expansion will depend on the demand in these two cities. The vehicle will be sold from the Pro Biking dealerships of the company from which it also sells the KTM super bikes.
“Biggest hurdle (for adoption of electric mobility) is the conflicting idea in minds of manufacturers since they are making money from petrol and diesel vehicles. The fact that Bajaj doesn’t sell scooters is our bigger strength. We are starting from here because there is not conflict of interest. When you enter into a new market you don’t make money from day one. The price will not be viable from day one,” added Bajaj.
The reduction in corporate tax will give the company additional room of ₹450 crore to ₹500 crore and Bajaj will use the extra cash to absorb some of the cost of developing and manufacturing the electric scooter.