This week in Auto: Bajaj Chetak launced; Comparison between Chetak and Activa

January 18
22:56 2020

Bajaj finally made the Chetak available again but at a price some would feel is out of reach of many. The original 1970s Chetak commanded a super premium in the black market thanks to the ten year waiting period but the current generation battery electric Chetak comes priced at a premium over the premium. But how well does it fare when it comes to practicality of everyday use? In this edition of the news wrap we compare the Chetak against the largest-selling scooter of India. But here is a complete round-up of all the big automotive news of the week.

Bajaj Chetak launched at Rs 1 lakh

Bajaj Auto has launched the Chetak electric scooter at Rs 100,000 (ex-showroom), which is priced much higher than its cheapest priced Pulsar at Rs 66,618.

Chetak is the first of many electric models planned by Bajaj Auto, including that under partner KTM and Husqvarna brands. Deliveries of the Chetak with six colour and two variants will commence from February-end

Overregulation is killing the auto industry: Rajiv Bajaj

The government must look at cutting Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates for a limited period to offset the multifold increase in prices that has put brakes on demand growth since several months, according to Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Bajaj Auto.

Honda launches Activa 6G at Rs 64,000

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) has launched the Activa 6G with a Bharat Stage VI engine starting Rs 63,912 (ex-showroom, Delhi).

Activa, which is already the largest selling two wheeler brand in India, with sales of over 200,000 every month, will be available in two variants. The delux variant is priced at Rs 65,412.

Audi launches Q8 SUV at Rs 1.33 crore

Audi has officially launched its flagship SUV — the Q8 — in India on January 15. The German automobile manufacturer is offering the luxury SUV at Rs 1.33 crore and it is loaded with features.

The Q8 gets a prominent trapezoidal grille with Matrix LED headlamps. It gets dual-tone alloys with a connected tail lamp, raked tailgate, an aggressive splitter and dual exhausts. It also gets a coupe-like stance due to its sloping roofline and a sporty side profile.

Honda to start testing EV in India this year

Honda, India’s second-largest two-wheeler maker, may finally jump onto the electric vehicle bandwagon as it prepares to take consumer feedback on a test vehicle later in the year.

The Japanese giant is the only scooter and motorcycle making company that was yet to firm up plans about electric scooters or electric bikes even as its rivals have been discussing launch plans of such vehicles.

Honda to axe 4-5 models

Honda will not upgrade four-five of its models to Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) emission norms which would lead to trimming of its product portfolio. This comes at a time when the two-wheeler demand is not expected to revive at least in the next nine months.

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), the country’s second-largest two-wheeler maker, will stop production of BS-IV compliant scooters and motorcycles by the end of January, a top company official confirmed.

Auto Expo 2020: New launches to light up the event

The India Auto Expo 2020 that kickstarts on February 5 will see around 90 companies making 95 product launches and unveilings, despite the absence of more than a dozen key companies. SIAM member companies will unveil around 65 products while non- members will unveil 30 products at the Expo as against 80 unveilings in the 2018 Auto Expo.

With around 600,000 footfalls expected during the eight-day extravaganza, the Expo will see the participation of nearly half a dozen Chinese-headquartered companies and around 18 start-ups.

Bajaj Chetak vs Honda Activa

While the real world riding experience of the Chetak is yet to be enjoyed since the vehicle will start getting delivered to its customers in early February the following comparison is based purely on the cost of ownership against the Honda Activa, India’s largest-selling two-wheeler.

For a single charge the Rs 100,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi) Chetak can run for a maximum of 95 kms. Bajaj Auto has revealed this figure after having tested the Chetak in real riding conditions. Under standard test condition as done by the Automotive Research Association of India the mileage figures came in much higher.

In the sport mode (to keep up with the city traffic on highways) the Chetak’s mileage drops to 85 kms. It will take 5-6 hours to fully charge the vehicle consuming 4-5 units of electricity. With each unit costing Rs 5-6 the running cost of Chetak per kilometer comes to Rs 0.3.

The 110cc engine-powered Activa 6G with a Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) engine is priced at Rs 63,912 (ex-showroom Delhi). With a 5.3 litre fuel tank the Activa can run for 250-300 kms on a full tank considering the Activa has a real world mileage of 47-56 km per litre. With price of petrol hitting Rs 81 per litre the average running cost of the Activa comes to Rs 1.4 to 1.72 per kilometer. If mileage dips then the running cost climbs higher.

Advantages of Chetak

The Chetak has a running cost that is one fifth of the Activa. With so little moving parts the Chetak has negligible service cost. Besides being environment friendly the Chetak is also much quieter to run than the petrol powered two-wheeler. There is no need for an oil change while the brake pad maintenance required is very less.

Bajaj has provided connectivity features on the Chetak. Data communication, security and user authentication will enable owners to have a seamless ownership and riding experience. A mobile app will provide a comprehensive overview of all aspects of the vehicle including ride history and real time location of the vehicle.

Advantage of Activa

The Activa is 56 percent cheaper than the Chetak in the initial buying cost. With zero need for any charging the Activa is fill-n-forget. Refilling at the petrol pump can take a maximum of 10 minutes.

The Honda workhorse also does not have to depend on electricity which is often erratic in supply. There is no need for a charging socket either. Resale value of the petrol scooter could be better than an electric scooter given that the age of the batteries powering the scooter diminishes overtime and needs a replacement.Get access to India’s fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code “GETPRO”. Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.

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