November was relatively a good month for Bajaj Auto’s Chetak, but an excellent one for the TVS iQube, as per numbers reported by Indian web portals. In December 2020, though, sales of both models plummeted, and in the Chetak’s case, the drop was a drastic one. While the TVS iQube’s sales nearly halved to 58 units, the Chetak’s sales witnessed a 99% drop and went down to just 3 units. There’s no official confirmation, but last month’s sales decline can be attributed to the shortage in the supply of semiconductors in the auto industry.
Both Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor might have been forced to reduce or halt production due to supply chain issues. Bajaj Auto’s Executive Director Rakesh Sharma said last week that the company hopes to sort out production issues in 2-3 months. The company has received 50,000 registrations for the Chetak electric scooter.
In November 2020, Bajaj Auto had delivered 264 units of the Chetak electric scooter, which was just a whisker over October 2020’s 258 units. The TVS iQube deliveries grew from 32 units in October 2020 to 99 units, though. However, Bajaj Auto has big expansion plans for the Chetak, and so, sales can accelerate to 4-digits in this year and pull away from the TVS electric scooter.
Marketed simply as Chetak, the Bajaj electric scooter is available in two cities – Pune and Bengaluru – since the launch in January. Bajaj Auto began deliveries of the Chetak in January 2020, and by end of the year, it managed to sell 1,337 units, as per the latest industry data from the web.
|Month||Bajaj Chetak sales||TVS iQube sales|
During most of the second quarter of the year, like rival companies, Bajaj Auto was unable to ship a single unit of the Chetak due to the COVID-19 lockdown imposed in the country and the inability to source parts, including one component which comes from Wuhan. Even when the market reopened, the company was struggling to restart deliveries, as there were supply issues from vendors. The Chinese origin of critical parts didn’t help matters as the India-China border tensions rose.
Bajaj Auto had somewhat recovered from sourcing issues towards the festive season. The company has started talking about a robust expansion plan to increase the Chetak availability to 24 new cities in the next financial year. It plans to build the Chetak at a new factory as it expects demand for electric vehicles to increase in the coming years. It is possible that the company has identified local vendors for the electrical and electronic parts.
Currently, every Chetak is sold at a loss for Bajaj Auto, but the company believes the investment is a way to go up the learning curve and prepare for acceleration when the economics work out either via subsidy, government support or battery cost reduction.
Bajaj Auto will start expanding the Chetak’s availability later this year. Delhi, Jaipur, Goa, Hyderabad, Chennai and Vizag are the first new locations where it plans to launch the Chetak next, it is reported.
Bajaj Chetak vs. TVS iQube Electric – Specifications
|Aspect||Bajaj Chetak Specification||TVS iQube Electric Specification|
|Length/Width/Height||1,970 mm/745 mm/1,145 mm||1,805 mm/645 mm/1,140 mm|
|Ground Clearance||170 mm||150 mm|
|Battery||2.89 kWh Li-ion||2.25 kWh (usable) Li-ion|
|Charging Time||5 hours||Approximately 5 hours|
|Power||4.08 kW||4.4 kW|
|Top Speed||70 km/h||78 km/h|
|Range||85+ km (Sport mode)/95+ km (Eco mode)||55 km (Power mode)/75 km (Eco mode)|
Bajaj Chetak vs. TVS iQube Electric – Price
Bajaj Auto sells the Chetak in Premium and Urbane variants. The Premium variant is available in four metallic colours: Hazelnut, Indigo Metallic, Brooklyn Black and Velutto Rosso. It costs INR 1.15 lakh (ex-showroom). The Urbane variant is available in solid colours Cyber White and Citrus Rush. It costs INR 1 lakh (ex-showroom). Bajaj Auto promises a 70,000 km battery life and provides a 3-year/50,000 km warranty on the battery.
The TVS iQube Electric comes in white and costs INR 1.15 lakh (on-road, Bengaluru). The price includes 3-year warranty (up to 50,000 km), lifetime SmartXonnect basic features, 1-year SmartXonnect advanced subscription and 1-year roadside assistance.