The iconic Bajaj Chetak makes a comeback in an all-new electric avatar. Earlier today, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and Road Minister Nitin Gadkari unveiled the new scooter. The Chetak Electric has been launched under the Urbanite EV sub-brand by Bajaj Auto.
According to Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj, while it is important to keep an existing business going, growing and improving, there must always be an entrepreneur in the businessman who wants to make a new beginning.
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“We have to sow the seeds for a new future now and again. So that was the first reason why we have started on Chetak 2.0,” he said in an interview with CNBC-TV18.
He said the biggest hurdle today for electric vehicles is not the technology or the cost of the battery, it is not even the absence of adequate infrastructure, the biggest hurdle is the conflict in the minds of OEMs. They have an existing business going with petrol and diesel vehicles and are hesitant or reluctant to enter EV market. However, startups seem far more aggressive and progressive, he added.
Talking about disrupting the electric scooter market, he said: “In this situation the absence of Bajaj from the scooter segment for the last ten odd years has been our strength. We have played to our strength because every Electric Chetak that is sold will be sold at the expense of some scooter that is not ours because we do not make any scooters.”
According to him, electric vehicles will be niche for sometime rather than a mass market. “We are the first established large OEM that has taken the plunge into an all electric,” he said.