Bajaj has re-launched the popular Chetak scooter after many years and in an all new electric avatar. Priced competitively at Rs 1 lakh (ex-showroom), Bajaj has introduced the Chetak electric in two variants -- Urbane and Premium. The Premium model costs Rs 15,000 more and it will be sold alongside KTM. Customers are also offered the convenience of booking the Chetak on their official website as well. Deliveries for the Premium variant may begin from the end of April 2020 while the Urbane variant will commence by May 2020. The catch here though is that as of now, the Chetak is available in Pune and Bengaluru only.
While there are other players in the electric scooter market, the Chetak stands apart in terms of build since it uses metal bodywork instead of fibre. It gets all things modern like LED lighting and a digital instrument console that displays many important things like vehicle speed, range and battery level and an IP67 rating. Also, the Chetak gets keyless ignition!
Speaking of performance, the Chetak is powered by a 4kW 16 Nm electric motor with 2 riding modes: Eco and Sport. It is a smart system as the Chetak’s Integrated charging unit senses throttle position continuously. As a result, twisting the throttle more than 85% will result in the mode switching automatically from Eco to Sport. Bajaj claims the Chetak will offer a real-world range of 95km in Eco mode and 85km in Sport mode. You might be surprised to know that the Chetak also gets a reverse mode. It is also claimed that the electric scooter can do 25 kms after one hour of charge while a 3.5 hour charge will charge the batteries all the way to 80%. 100% charge from no charge could be achieved in 5 hours.
But, Bajaj claims the top speed of the Chetak to be limited to 60 kmph which in our books is low. Top speed has been compromised in the interest of higher range and it could be the perfect speed for tight city commutes. But, what if you happen to hit the highway or a fast main road? Things could get a bit scary.
Speaking of handling and braking- the Chetak gets front trailing link suspension and 12-inch alloy wheels fitted with MRF Zapper tyres. A disc brake in the front and drum brake at the rear should provide a lot of stopping power. Bajaj claims the regenerative braking feature can add 2.8 metre of range every time a rider goes from 60-0kmph.
There is no provision for fast charging but Bajaj does include home charging port for free which will be fixed at your place of residence by a technician. It would be interesting to see how the Chetak performs against its competition- the Ather 450, TVS iQube and 22Kymco iFlow.