Yesterday, one of India’s largest two-wheeler companies, Bajaj Auto, unveiled an electric scooter called e-Chetak. The name Chetak evokes the nostalgia of pre-Liberalization days (before 1991) among a particular generation of automotive enthusiasts, and also advertising agency professionals who coined memorable jingles and campaigns during those years. This was the time when Bajaj’s Chetak was India’s best selling two-wheeler, with waiting period running into years. Of course, that’s before the erstwhile Hero Honda took over the market with its fuel-efficient motorcycles.
Amongst all the PR bluster that has come out, this bit is the most important, from managing director Rajiv Bajaj’s chat with CNBC-TV18:
“Worldwide, OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] are more reluctant or hesitant than they should be in the pursuit of electric vehicle technology, whereas startups seem to be far more aggressive.