Bajaj Auto Ltd, India's second largest motorcycle manufacturer, on Wednesday announced its second innings in the scooter segment, almost after a decade's gap, with the launch of its electric scooter — Chetak. The Pune-based company did not reveal the price of the product and will announce it before beginning dispatches.
Bajaj stopped manufacturing traditional scooters around 2009 in order to focus on motorcycles.
The new Chetak will be available in two variants and offer a range of 85 kilometre and 95 kilometre.
According to Rajiv Bajaj, managing director Bajaj Auto, there is immense potential for scooters and three-wheelers in the electric space.
“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," said Bajaj.
The company will start selling the electric scooter in January in Pune and later expand to 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 bike.
“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 an additional room of ₹450-500 crore, which it will use to absorb some of the cost of developing and manufacturing the electric scooter.