Ather Energy commenced its operations in India today with a surprise launch of two versions of its electric scooters. The Bengaluru-based start-up has priced the Ather 340 at Rs 1,09,750, while the Ather 450 retails for Rs 1,24,750. These prices are on-road, thus inclusive of Rs 22,000 subsidy, road tax, registration card and insurance. Also, early adopters will get a charging cable (a home charger in the case of the 450), standard installation and a one-year subscription plan (more on this later) free of cost.
Both the electric scooters will be only available in Bengaluru, for now and the company officials said that they plan to expand their brand to 12 major cities by 2020. The main reason for this city-based approach is the fact that Ather wants to set up its own EV charging infrastructure (dubbed AtherGrid) in all cities before it commences sales of its electric scooter. It has also earmarked an Rs 130 crore investment to set up 6,500 charging points by 2022. Read about the Ather Grid here.
The Ather electric scooter will be offered in two variants – 340 and 450 (it had only showcased the Ather S340 prototype, a few years back). Both the scooters are identical in terms of styling, dimensions and features. However, the Ather 450 sports a higher capacity and output from its electric motor and battery pack. The Ather 340 is powered by a 4.4kW motor with a torque rating of 20Nm. It has a claimed top speed of 70kph and a 0-40kph acceleration time of 5.1sec. The Ather 450 is powered by a 5.4kW motor churning out 20.5Nm of peak torque, a claimed top speed of 80kph and a 0-40kph run is completed in 3.9sec. The electric scooter duo is powered by lithium-ion batteries. The Ather 340 has a usable capacity of 1.92kWh, while the Ather 450 has 2.4kWh.
Both the scooters can be run in two modes – power and economy. The Ather 340 has a claimed real-world range of 60km in economy mode and 50km in power mode (ARAI figure is estimated at 86km but the company is awaiting confirmation on this). Meanwhile, Ather claims a real-world range of 75km in economy mode and 60km in power mode for the 450, while the ARAI figure is 107km. With the public fast charging network, the company claims 80 percent of the battery can be charged in 50min.
According to Ather, the 340 and the 450 are among the smartest and most feature-rich electric scooters to go on sale in India. Both the scooters boast of features like a 7.0-inch capacitive touchscreen, adaptive LED headlight, GPS, over-the-air updates, charging station location tracking, custom user interface, diagnostic alerts, a parking assist function, combined brakes and more. The scooter even has a six-axis IMU which allows it to calculate detailed riding information and also allows IMU-controlled self-cancelling indicators. A dedicated mobile phone app enables further control over the touchscreen as well as access to other vehicle functions and information.
The Ather electric scooter employs an aluminium and steel hybrid frame which is suspended on a telescopic front fork and a monoshock unit at the rear. Braking hardware consists of a disc brake on both ends along with a combined braking system (CBS) on both wheels. Ather claims a braking distance of 60-0kph in 28.6m. The Ather electric scooter runs on 12-inch alloy wheels which are shod with 90/90 section tyres. The company states a water wading limit of 300mm and ground clearance is 160mm. Saddle height for the Ather 340 and 450 is rather low at 765mm (Honda Grazia is 766mm), whereas both the scooters weigh 118kg (kerb weight), the Honda Grazia tips the scale at 107kg.
Subscribe for benefits
Ather will be offering a special subscription plan along with its electric scooters for a hassle-free ownership experience. Customers who opt for the subscription plan will have free access to the AtherGrid and Ather will also reimburse them via an e-wallet every 3 months for charging the scooters at their residence or any other private location. The on-board computers will know that it has been charged in a private connection and Ather will then reimburse that amount to you. Other benefits include free maintenance (including labour costs, common replaceable parts like brake pads etc); free data for navigation, diagnostics, over-the-air updates etc and roadside assistance. The monthly subscription plan is Rs 700 per month; however, customers also have the option for an annual plan at Rs 9,912 or a quarterly plan for Rs 2,596 (all prices are inclusive of 18 percent GST).
The company offers a vehicle warranty of two years or 30,000km for the Ather 340 and 450. The battery pack has a three-year/ unlimited kilometre warranty with 70 percent charge holding capacity and the warranty also covers manufacturing defects for three years (excluding cable, connector and physical wear and tear).
Ather Energy was founded by IIT graduates Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain in 2013 and the first prototype of the electric scooter was showcased in 2016. The company received $1 million (Rs 6.72 crore, approximately) funding from Flipkart founders, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, in 2014. Two years down the line, it received a major boost when Hero MotoCorp invested Rs 205 crore into the company for a 26-30 percent stake. Ather has setup an assembly plant in Whitefield, Bengaluru, with a current capacity to build 20,000 scooters per annum in a single shift.
2018 Ather 450 image gallery
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