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Pune based motorcycle and scooter manufacturer, Bajaj Auto, has temporarily suspended production of its first ever electric offering for the Indian markets, the Bajaj Chetak EV. The company has announced that deliveries of the scooter will start only in September this year.
In a service statement dated 20 February, Bajaj Auto announced that bookings made up to 29 February would be catered for and delivered only in September. Deliveries will be catered for depending on booking sequences, document verification and payment dates. Customers can make a final payment once their respective order reaches dealerships.
According to pluginindia, The company has managed to sell 91 units of the Chetak electric scooter via a limited dealership network, in comparison to its closest competitor, TVS' iQube that managed to register only 18 units in sales.
The Bajaj Chetak Electric Scooter is available in two variants - The Chetak Urban that is priced at Rs 1 lakh and the Chetak Premium that is priced at Rs 1.15 lakh. Prices mentioned are ex-showroom, Delhi.
Both scooters are powered by a 3kWh, IP67 rated Lithium-ion battery that offers a total range of 95 kilometers over a single charge. In combination with the motor, the battery produces 6.44 brake horsepower and 16Nm of torque. The batteries take roughly five hours to achieve a full charge.
Bajaj Auto has been forced to suspend all production activities in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lock down that followed. As is, the Indian Government has mandated that the lock down remains in effect until 3 May.
Some manufacturers have started limited operations at their facilities that are located outside of Municipal Corporation limits, while others are still battling for survival.
The country's automotive sector expects to go back to full operation after 3 May, but it seems unlikely considering the rising number of Covid-19 cases on a daily basis.
Bajaj imports the Chetak's electric powertrain from Germany (currently at novice stages of relaxing its lock down measures), and expects to re-start exports as early as the middle of May.
Experts however are of the opinion that logistics will take a longer period to go back to normal, depending on each nations' plan of action. There is high possibility that the entire supplier network will remain weak even if manufacturing units begin to work at capacity.
Thoughts About Bajaj Auto Suspending Production And Delaying Delivery Of The Chetak Electric Scooter
We're not surprised that Bajaj suspended production and delayed deliveries of its Chetak electric scooter. Even if manufacturers start operations at capacity, they will not be able to put a 100 per cent stop to production of personal protection equipment and other medical equipment they are manufacturing. The entirety of production depends on multiple factors that all revolve around containing and eradicating the Covid-19 virus.