Longstanding IC engine players Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Co, which have plugged into the India electric mobility story, are witnessing increasing demand for their e-scooters. Interestingly, both companies launched their products – the Bajaj Chetak and TVS iQube – in January 2020.
Proof of the strong demand for the two products is that sales of both e-scooters in the first four months of FY2022 (April-July 2021) have crossed total sales in all of 12 months of FY2021. With eight months of the ongoing fiscal still to go, both products are headed for a record year. What's more, they are still sold in limited markets.
Bajaj Auto, which launched the Chetak on January 14, 2020, has till end-July 2021 sold a total of 3,330 units. This total comprises 212 units in FY2020, 1,395 units in FY2021 and 1,723 units in the first four months (April-July 2021) of FY2022.
Bajaj Auto would have posted higher sales numbers but for the fact that the Chetak is being sold only in a few markets – Pune, Bangalore and more recently in Nagpur, where it has an ex-showroom price starting Rs 142,998 . The Chetak EV is sold in two variants – Premium and Urbane. The Chetak gets fully charged in 5 hours and has a quick charge of 25% in 60 minutes. At full charge, it delivers a range of 90km in Eco Mode. Manufactured at the Chakan plant, it has three riding modes including a reverse mode.
Meanwhile, the TVS iQube, which was launched on January 25, 2020, has sold a total of 2,609 units till end-July 2021. This comprises 62 units in FY2020, 1,061 units in FY2021 and 1,486 units in April-July 2021.
Following the revision in subsidy under the FAME II Scheme earlier this year by the government, TVS revised the iQube Electric’s pricing. It now costs Rs 11,250 less. From the earlier Rs 112,027 in New Delhi, the eco-friendly scooter now costs Rs 100,777 in the capital city. And in Bangalore, the pricing stands reduced from 121,756 to Rs 110,506.
Powering the iQube is a 4.4kW electric motor that propels the scooter to a claimed top speed of 78kph. TVS claims the iQube can cover 75km on a full charge and a 0-40kph time of 4.2 seconds. The scooter has two riding modes – economy and power – and comes with regenerative braking. The battery on the iQube is not removable.
The TVS iQube is equipped with a ‘next-gen TVS SmartXonnect platform’ that includes a TFT instrument cluster and the TVS iQube app. Both these together enable users to access features such as geo-fencing, remote battery charge status, navigation assist, last park location and incoming call alerts/SMS alerts, among others.
With skyhigh petrol prices and several Indian states making moves to become EV-friendly, both the Bajaj Chetak and TVS iQube should continue to see robust demand in the coming months. They, no doubt, have competition but what clicks in their favour is the strong brand, reliable aftersales support and an expanding market launch strategy.
EV sales in India down 19% in FY2021 but demand grows for electric cars