Bajaj unveiled its much-awaited electric scooter in India yesterday amid much fanfare. The chic-looking scooter also features the iconic Chetak nameplate which is synonymous with scooters all across the country. This is also the first time that Bajaj has gone for an all-electric powertrain for its scooter.
The Chetak electric scooter features a retro-modern design – initial responses to the scooter have been very positive. However, not all are pleased with the design direction Bajaj has undertaken for its new scooter. Pratap Bose, VP-Global Design at Tata Motors expressed his displeasure over Chetak’s design as he tweeted “Sad day for Indian Design” in reply to a tweet.
Pratap Bose is the man behind the new age IMPACT 2.0 design of Tata Motors, the Tata Harrier being the first production vehicle to feature this design. He has extensive experience working in several international auto brands including Piaggio, which is the company whose scooters he seems to believe are the inspiration behind the design of the new Chetak. He expressed his opinion about the scooter’s design when a twitter user shared a picture that compared new Chetak’s design with two Piaggio models.
Pratap Bose also tweeted his response over the scooter’s design on another tweet which carried a statement from Rajiv Bajaj himself. The tweet which carried Rajiv’s statement read:
It amazes us that every company that was importing mobiles, refrigerators and TVs from China and every company which was making batteries now think they can make electric 2 wheelers
To this, Pratap Bose replied, “Interesting coming from someone who has ripped off a VESPA”. The same tweet can be found below.
The first Chetak Scooter that was launched back in 1972 was also based on a Piaggio Scooter, the Vespa Sprint. At that time, Bajaj had licensed the design officially from Piaggio. Later on, Bajaj launched a new Chetak model during the 1980s which carried an in-house design.
There has been no word yet from Bajaj Auto about the comments by Pratap Bose.
As for the question of whether the new Chetak’s design is too much similar to that of the Vespa series, we leave that up to you.
Talking about the new Bajaj Chetak electric, the scooter will be launched in January 2020 but its production has been going on since the 25th of September 2019. It rides on 12-inch multispoke alloy wheels that look quite stylish and are shod on with tubeless tyres. The headlamp is an all-LED unit with a LED DRL circling around the boundary of the oval headlamp housing. Price of the scooter has not been revealed yet.
An all-digital instrument cluster will provide the relevant information while an IP67 certified 4kW lithium-ion battery pack will power the scooter. It will get a BLDC electric motor but the power rating has not been revealed. The Chetak EV will feature two riding modes – Eco and Sport. The claimed range of the scooter is 85 km and 95 km in Sport and Eco modes respectively. When launches, the Chetak electric scooter will face competition from manufacturers like Okinawa and Ather. Expect the prices of the scooter to be around Rs. 1 lakh when launched.