Bajaj Urbanite Chetak Electric Scooter: What To Expect?
Bajaj's Chetak is all set to make a comeback, albeit in an electric avatar, sooner than expected. Here's everything we expect
Bajaj’s electric vehicle sub-division, Urbanite is working on a new electric scooter which was spotted testing recently. As per our sources, the upcoming scooter will bear the legendary Chetak moniker. The Chetak was Bajaj’s best-selling product in the late 80’s and early 90’s. But with the arrival of new competitors and emission norms, Bajaj had to withdraw from the scooter segment altogether. However, now the brand seems to head back into the game, but with an electric scooter. Here is what you can expect from it:
A properly retro design, but modern features:
The spy pictures have given us a fair idea about the scooter’s design. Its bodywork features smooth curves a la the Vespas and a circular headlamp reminiscent of the Chetak. Even the alloy wheels follow a retro design. The D-shaped rear-view mirrors should offer a nice balance of form and functionality too. Expect the lighting system to be all-LED which should not only conserve energy, but also add a touch of modernity. In all probability, the instrument cluster will be a fully digital unit and is likely to get smartphone connectivity as well.
Plus there’s a closed storage compartment on the apron which should be perfect for small knick-knacks. Expect the underseat storage to be slightly larger than petrol-powered scooters since its electric motor would occupy less space than conventional petrol engines.
The electric Chetak gets a single-sided trailing link front suspension. It looks similar to the one used in the Vespa models. This is a clear nod to the Chetak, as it also came with the same setup, albeit on the right side, instead of left. At the rear, it gets a single-sided swingarm linked to a single shock absorber. Interestingly, the original Chetak too used this kind of a setup! The electric scooter comes to a halt using a disc up front and a drum brake at the rear.
Might look retro, but will go fast!
When one of our colleagues spotted the scooter, it was cruising at 70kmph rather easily. It was also seen being benchmarked against the Ather, so it is pretty much a given that the scooter will be equipped with a decently powerful motor with range to match. The motor is likely to be a brushless DC unit linked to the rear wheel via a belt drive. A lithium ion battery will provide the necessary juice for this scooter. It’s too early to say whether those will be swappable though.
We’ve also learnt that the Pune-based brand is working closely with Bosch to develop this scooter. Since Bajaj is working with one of the leading technology solutions companies in India, it is safe to assume the Chetak’s electric powertrain and electronic system would be technically sound and reliable.
Pricing & launch details:
We’ve also come to know that the electric Chetak is likely to be launched sooner than expected, presumably after the monsoon season. The scooter is very likely to get FAME II subsidies. And according to our sources, it will be priced similar to Ather 340, which retails for Rs 1.11 lakh (on-road).
Image Credit: PowerDrift
Original Chetak scooter used for representation