Bajaj eyes localisation of Chetak’s lithium battery assembly in Pune

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Published: November 16, 2019 5:50:08 AM

Bajaj has opted for a slow charging option for the e-scooter as it means that the scooter can be charged anywhere so it is easier for the customers. Slow charging also ensures a longer battery life as fast charging depletes battery life by 20-25%, Vas said.

Bajaj, localisation, Chetak, lithium battery, Pune, industry news, e scooter, FAME IIPointing to the need to work with right partners in the electronics and battery management space, he said localisation with limited volumes is tough.

For its newly-unveiled e-scooter Chetak, Bajaj Auto will be relying on its vendor in Pune for localising the battery assembly. The company is also in the process of localising many other parts, including the electric motor. Eric Vas, president, urbanite business, Bajaj Auto, said apart from the battery assembly the e-scooter will have a high level of localisation. The lithium ion cell will be imported and assembled into a battery at one of the company’s vendors.

Battery accounts for almost 50% of an electric vehicle’s cost. Currently, the battery for Chetak is being sourced from overseas but as the company scales up it will be made locally.  While FAME II stipulates localisation of manufacturing in a specific time frame, Vas said there is no ecosystem in the country and it can’t be done in quick time. In some cases, if we localise the cost will be higher than imports.

Pointing to the need to work with right partners in the electronics and battery management space, he said localisation with limited volumes is tough.

Bajaj has opted for a slow charging option for the e-scooter as it means that the scooter can be charged anywhere so it is easier for the customers. Slow charging also ensures a longer battery life as fast charging depletes battery life by 20-25%, Vas said.

The scooter will run 95 km on a single charge to fit into the urban market requirements that the new Chetak is targeted at. The Chetak battery will take five hours to charge and is expected that customers will charge the vehicle overnight. The battery will have a life of 70,000 km or six years and this goes well with Chetak’s enduring legacy of reliability and durability. The Bajaj scooter comes with a standard warranty of 50,000 km or three years.

The new electric Chetak scooter from Bajaj will be powered by lithium ion battery with NCA (nickel cobalt aluminium oxide) cells. The battery is charged using a standard household 5-15 Amp electrical outlet with on-board battery management systems controlling charge and discharge. A home charging station is available at an additional cost.

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