Bajaj electric 3W launch by mid-2020, Chetak may get variants

by Sumantra B Barooah & Nilesh Wadhwa 17 Oct 2019

Pune-based Bajaj Auto, which manufactures motorcycles, three-wheelers and quadricycles, is taking the electric mobility route to newer products. The company, which has reported a strong performance in both the domestic and export market for the first six months of FY2020, is readying for a fast ride in the EV space.

On October 16, 2019, the company which had been one of the oldest scooter manufacturers in India, unveiled the 'Chetak' in an electric avatar in New Delhi. 

Speaking at the product reveal, Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto said: “I have been surprised to see the enthusiasm when people came to know we were developing an electric vehicle. I am also surprised to see the people who want to revolutionise Indian roads are often failed IC two-wheeler manufacturers who want to change the world with their EVs. We are not a battery or steel maker – we are engineers who do our own work, we are a company with a rich past and a strong legacy. We have a solid foundation to make a foray into the future.”

What's more, it is understood that the company plans more than one variant of the electric Chetak. Furthermore, the company, which is the first and only company selling quadricycles in the country, could be looking to expand its EV offerings. The quadricycle christened 'Bajaj Qute' was launched in April 2019, is currently available in CNG and petrol but that may soon spawn an electric variant too.

In between, the company which has a significant contribution from its three-wheeler business, is likely  to launch an electric three-wheeler by mid-2020. In May 2019, Autocar Professional had broken the news about Bajaj Auto testing electric three-wheeler in India.  With this Bajaj Auto will compete not only with its traditional rival Piaggio, but also take on new entrants like Kinetic GreenMahindra ElectricExide IndustriesSmartEGreaves CottonKeto and Lohia Auto in the electric three-wheeler business. On August 14, 2019, we had broken the news about the first instantly charging electric-three-wheeler being unveiled and the company's plans for India.

Baja Auto is bullish on its electric vehicle business, and in fact is positive that in the future, the contribution from EVs (two-wheeler, three-wheeler and quadricycle) could be as high as 50 percent. 

Also read: Rajiv Bajaj: ‘Every Chetak sold is a Honda, Hero, Yamaha or TVS scooter not sold.'