August 19, 2022

Background:

Electric vehicles are not a new concept in the Indian Markets. Yet, there was never a buzz around these eco-friendly, cost-saving products. Possible reasons can be the inefficiencies that accompanied the primitive versions of EVs – like high charging time, shorter range, lack of visual appeal, and so on. 

Today, the scenario is completely different. The Indian market has been witnessing a surge in the electric vehicles category, with manufacturers pouring in offerings left, right, and center. From big names to startups, everyone is betting high on this rising category.

Ather Energy:

Ather Energy – A Made in India company manufacturing electric scooters designed for city use. Started in 2013 by Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain, Ather Energy has credible investors associated with it, like Tiger Global, Sachin, and Binny Bansal (Flipkart Founders), Hero Motocorp, among others. 

The guiding philosophy behind Ather’s strategy is to address the problems in primitive electric scooters such as shorter range, low speed, higher charging time, and not-so-impressive design. Ather launched its first electric scooter, the S340 in 2016 in Bangalore. In 2020, it refreshed its offerings with the launch of Ather 450 Plus, and Ather 450X. 

Ather Electric Scooters – Ather 450x and Ather 450 Plus:

Focusing on performance, quality, and the newest technologies, Ather launched the 450X and 450 Plus electric scooters, where 450X is an advanced version.

Overview:

The Ather 450X can cover up 116 km in a single charge, with a top speed of 80 km/h. With the fast charging technology, the scooter can be charged from 0-80% in around 3.5 hours. It can go from 0-40km/h in around 3.3 seconds, which is indeed fast for an electric vehicle. 

The 450 Plus on the other hand is capable of covering up to 70km in a single charge. It can go from 0-40km/h in about 3.9 seconds. The peak power generated by the battery-driven motor is 5.4kW for the 450 Plus, and 6kW for the 450X.

Hi-tech features:

Ather’s electric bikes come with a touch-screen, water-resistant dashboard, powered by a Snapdragon processor. With 4G and Bluetooth connectivity, the dashboard facilitates GPS navigation, control music, and event accepting/ rejecting calls. You can even store documents such as your license for easy access when needed. One of the highlights of the Ather 450 Plus/X is reverse assists, which facilitates smooth parking. Ather has also offered the Ather mobile app to keep a check on the vehicle, its charging status, and other information. 

Pricing:

The Ather 450 Plus is priced at ₹1,25,490 which includes the cost of the charger. The Ather 450X being an advanced version, is priced slightly higher, at ₹1,44,500. 

Both the scooters come with a 3-year warranty on the charger, battery, and the vehicle as a whole. 

In works – Ather Grid:

To ease the charging hassle and to facilitate commute, Ather is building a charging network called the Ather Grid. These charging stations will be situated at multiple places across cities (currently in Bengaluru and Chennai) and will enable charging of not only Ather’s electric scooters but all the electric vehicles out there. Intending to have a charging station every 4km, Ather has set up over 30 charging points in Bengaluru, 10 in Chennai, and 10 in Mumbai

Ather definitely seems to be on the right path of making electric scooters mainstream in the country. Ather’s electric offerings are powerful and the visual appeal is impressive as well. It is to see how this startup competes against the big players in the market in the future, and whether it truly anchors the electric scooter revolution in India.

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