Bajaj Chetak performance variant in the making, confirms Rajiv Bajaj

At a press conference in Pune today to mark the conclusion of the 3000km-long ‘Chetak Electric Yatra,’ Rajiv Bajaj, the MD of Bajaj Auto provided new details on the company’s first electric two-wheeler, the Chetak.

Bajaj said that the company was working on a performance-spec version of the Chetak which would be sold by KTM or Husqvarna. The platform would be used by either or both companies to enter the scooter segment, and that KTM chief Stefan Pierer is very impressed by Bajaj’s first electric scooter.

KTM is not new to the concept of performance electric two-wheelers. The brand, in the European market, is currently retailing the Freeride E-XC, the electric avatar of the Freeride 250 R enduro, that uses a 3.9 kWh battery to produce 24.5 hp and 42 Nm of torque. At the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, it unveiled the E-speed electric scooter, powered by a liquid-cooled permanent-magnet synchronous motor that developed 14.75 hp & 36 Nm of torque from the 4.36 kWh battery pack. The 140 kg electric scooter could hit 80 kmph top speed and travel 64 km on a single charge. However, this concept never made it to production despite media reports emerging in 2016 of revival plans.

What can one expect from the Chetak-based KTM electric scooter/Husqvarna electric scooter?

For starters, we expect to see a radically different body that is edgier, angular and sharper. KTM as a brand is about performance and aggression and you can expect the scooter’s attitude to reflect these principles. Secondly, the signature orange livery is a given.

Thirdly expect a bigger motor and a beefier battery pack. The Chetak uses a 4kW motor that gives it a 95 km range and a top speed of about 60 kmph. Expect quicker acceleration, a much higher top speed and range on the premium variant. Along with the scaled-up performance, one can also expect to see other hardware improve with higher-rated brakes and a different suspension along with premium gear like sporty TFT display.

One can expect to see the KTM/Husqvarna electric scooter presented in a couple of years. Meanwhile, the Chetak, bookings for which open in the coming weeks, goes on sale in January 2020 with a 3-year/50,000 km warranty and 15,000 km service interval. It will be sold via KTM dealerships starting with Pune, then Bangalore and the price (expected to be around INR 1.1 lakh on-road) will be announced at the time of launch.