Bajaj Chetak – Bajaj’s Homegrown EV Scooter


When we think about the good old Bajaj Chetak, we’re left feeling nostalgic. Hark back to the times when the Chetak was a popular scooter among men. It has been through various generation changes until production finally stopped after the failure of the Bajaj Chetak 4-stroke. The Chetak started life as a humble, two-stroke machine that was afforded by the middle-class.

The exhaust note sounded like a constant crackle and gave out lots of smoke as well. It turned out to be the most reliable means of mobility back then, having been used for various purposes. It won over millions of hearts in our market in the same way the Honda Activa has in today’s generation. Bajaj has decided to resurrect the Chetak brand for the modern-day commuter, albeit in the new trending EV avatar. We think this is perhaps one of the riskiest marketing decisions by the brand so far, but the new product might have some promising attributes in store. So let’s take a close look at the new Chetak EV.

Retro But Modern

The new Bajaj Chetak EV looks modern and chic. It is perhaps one of the nicest-looking scooters on the market here, barring the Vespa of course. The flow in the design language reveals curvaceous body panels, and you’d be happy to know Bajaj Bikes have given it bodywork made from metal. The scooter is rather pretty to behold. It gets some very interesting details, like an LED DRL incorporated in the LED headlight, while the front apron sports a faux grille.

The tail section is a single-piece unit and panel gaps are non-existent. The taillights get dynamic turn indicators that look great. We also appreciate the fact that Bajaj Bikes have included a trailing link suspension up-front and a single-side swingarm at the back, making the alloy wheels fully visible. We got a close look at the Premium version, featuring a disc brake up-front and wheels finished in metallic grey paint. The seats are nicely designed, and on the Urbane variant, you get drum brakes. In terms of fit and finish, we think the Bajaj Chetak gets it spot-on.

Everything looks well built and the finish of the paint is excellent too. Now while the Bajaj Cetak does look appealing to the eye, we still think it looks like a bloated Vespa to some extent. It would’ve been a whole lot nicer had the brand come up with something that looked like nothing else. The scooter also gets equipped with features like flush-fitting switchgear and Bluetooth connectivity.

On the E-go

The new Bajaj Chetak is far from what you’ve experienced on Chetaks of old. The new scooter is all about EV mobility. So no exhaust sound, the combustion engine, and manual gearbox. You may miss the fragrance of petrol, but the new EV version packs in lots of performance. Powering the new Chetak is a 3.8kW/4.1kW peak power motor, producing 16Nm of torque.

You’d be surprised at how the little motor responds to throttle inputs, making it perfect for tight gaps in crowded cities. It features two ride modes: Eco and Sport, which adjusts the scooter’s performance. Even in Eco mode, if the throttle is open for the most part, the need for additional power is sensed, immediately switching to Sport mode. The scooter overtakes quickly and tackling inclines doesn’t seem much of an issue either. Top speed has been limited to help keep the range as good as possible. We managed to touch 69kph, which is decent but is far from what internal combustion motors are capable of.

This speed tends to be sufficient only for the city, provided traffic isn’t moving at a hurried pace. If performance is what you’re looking at, we’d recommend having a look at the Ather 450X. The Chetak is practical, however, and will serve as a good day’s ride. The claimed battery range is the first thing that lets you know that.

The scooter features an IP67-rated Bosch, lithium-ion battery pack that gives the motor the energy to travel for 95kms in Eco and 85kms in Sport. We’d consider the figures to be sufficient for daily use. It takes about five hours to charge the battery to 100 percent. The home charger will be installed by a Bajaj technician and the cable is synced to a 5A socket beneath the seat. You don’t get the option of fast charging though. Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming scooters, only at autoX.

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