The year is 2023 and auto enthusiasts in India are now thinking a bit if they should really make a choice to own an electric scooter. Is it the time now? Yes and No. Yes for those beginners and first time 2-wheeler buyers / enthusiasts and especially for those who always wanted to buy a stylish looking automatic scooter (gearless). For the beginners, it completely makes sense to put their money and begin the electric scooter journey with trusted brands like Bajaj, TVS, Hero or Honda. To name a few, the Chetak, the iQube – the options from big manufacturers are limited as compared to petrol scooters, but it is worth investing on a product built by timeless brands that are building machines which millions of Indians already use. It works, it is well tested and you have that safety net. Let us have a closer and deeper look at Chetak Electric scooter from Bajaj in this article.
Chetak: How does it look?
Premium. The scooter commands respect for the way it looks, the glossy shiny finishing, the circular headlamps with a bright lit lamp, the curvy body design, the digital circular display (may be a first time in scooter), overall welcoming nature of the scooter – it feels like checking it out once again. Chetak does look fatter from the back with all those bright red LEDs. Other noticeable design elements are the thermal ventilators, the Chetak badging at the back with a green number plate, the body colored saree foot pegs, the foldable foot pegs for the pillion at back, large and wide seat with an expandable hook, storage compartments, lots of buttons on the handle! Talking about the colors, the Bajaj Chetak is offered in 4+ colors, the one which is featured in this article is the Chetak in Hazelnut color (light brown chocolate color).
Chetak: Design and Ergonomics
The Chetak electric scooter offers a large flat floor in the front, for you to step in and rest your feet in a relaxed and easy riding position. The seat offers good cushion and support – you can comfortably sit. There is a tiny and nice looking side stand, its very easy to discover and use it – you would also notice a dedicated side stand symbol – to indicate if the side stand is being used or not – If the side stand is being used the scooter automatically switches to Neutral (N) and doesnt move ahead unless you select a driving mode. It requires a little bit of one-time learning on how to start the scooter with a push start, single press, double press, long press etc.. It is simple, once you use it for 2 times, it feels very intuitive and is designed pretty well.
Chetak: How Fast is this Electric scooter?
Once you hit the road and get going on the scooter – the Chetak literally feels natural like any other scooter – one important change is adjusting to noiseless way of riding – since there is no engine, the scooter makes no sound at all and you only hear noise ( small bit of wroom) from the motor and the wheels when the power is transmitted. You may miss or expect a punchy/noisy thump as you ride, it is totally silent – Your brain may be tuned to sound based feedback to acknowledge moving ahead – so you will have to get used to this New way of riding an EV! How fast? The Bajaj Chetak can easily cruise upto 69 Kmph speed- thats the top speed – To reach the top speed, Chetak just needs about 5 to 10 seconds – It is quicker and gets going as you accelerate. The buttons on the handlebar help you switch between Sports/Eco Mode using the D button(Driving mode) to ride optimally. The Eco mode, always tries to conserve battery and tries to keep you under 50 kmph with frequent beeps – where as the Sports mode lets you go to a maximum speed of 69 kmpl. There is also a dedicated switch for riding the scooter in reverse direction (capped to a low speed and to help you get out of parking zone) – which is well-thought out feature addressing the urban commuters.
Chetak: How far can it Go? How long should I charge?
On a fully charged Bajaj Chetak, you can easily commute upto a distance of 60 kms – You can go upto 70 Kms – However it feels not worth risking, as the scooter takes about 4.5 hours to fully charge its battery. – So. it is a trade-off between time, distance and battery remaining – You can only get two things right – so choose it wisely. During the testing period, I did a back-to-back home to office runs of 50 Kms everyday and I did it for almost 7 days – it worked really well for me. If your home to office distance is less than 30 kms, it should work brilliantly for you too – one thing you cannot afford to do is forgetting to charge your scooter overnight – You HAVE to charge for 4.5 hours, if you need to make it fully usable for your everyday work. I wish Chetak offered fast charging option, something like 0-80% in an hour – that will add more confidence to the rider and removes range anxiety and fear on those tight days.
Chetak: How easy is it to charge the battery? Where is the battery?
The Bajaj Chetak gets a fixed type of battery, there is no question of hassling with removing the battery etc. What Bajaj has done is – they have provided a portable charger and a plug point at the rear of the scooter – You will have to connect the wire from your home’s 3-pin socket (normal one) and connect the other end to the scooter’s rear side (under the seat) – If it went well, you hear a beep and blinking green indicator on speedometer indicating that the vehicle is being charged. Do note that the 3-pin socket should have proper grounding and if you are using an extension cable, make sure it has ground connection. Overall charging the Chetak is fairly easy and the battery is fixed within the scooter.
Chetak: How is it? Should I go for it?
The build quality of Bajaj Chetak is excellent and top-notch quality – it is as advertised ( Handle-without-care). The scooter body is completely made of metal and it builds confidence in you as a rider – It is heavy and weighs about 132 kgs which is good. The riding dynamics are great – It is smooth, and is easily maneuverable – It can handle high speed also ( even if it is above 70 kmph) It goes very very stable on the road. The scooter lags when it comes to overtaking heavy vehicles with confidence, as a rider, you feel you need some more bit of rush in power when you want than going linearly. Climbing the steep roads or negotiating rough roads were not an issue at all, it offers a very good riding comfort and adopts to the condition, no doubt. The brakes could have been a little better – It is equipped with front disc brakes. The suspension system both in front and the rear does its duty well. You will really love riding this scooter at night times, thanks to bright LED headlight with such a great spread and multiple user-selectable options. The noiseless commute feels so stressfree and you are assured of high quality riding experience with Chetak. There is a scope for improvement in the way power is delivered and also there is a real need for batteries with larger range and super real need for shortening the charging time. Like said earlier, You should go for Bajaj Electric scooter, if this is your very first automatic scooter.
Chetak: How much does it cost?
At the time of writing this article, the Bajaj Chetak is priced at Rs 1,65,000 (on-road price Bangalore) and varies from city to city. Check full Photo gallery of Bajaj Chetak on GaadiKey Photos (31+ HD Photos)
Let us know what you think of this Chetak review by commenting below.