The two-wheeler EV maker and Tamil Nadu government have signed an MoU for a 4 lakh square feet facility that will manufacture the Ather 450 and its lithium-ion batteries.
Ather Energy has signed an MoU for a 4,00,000 square feet electric vehicle manufacturing facility with the government of Tamil Nadu, at the Investment and Skill Development Conclave in Chennai.
The EV two-wheeler maker has already announced plans to expand to 30 cities in the next few years and this MoU will help scale up production plans for the same. The built-up factory will be located in Hosur, Tamil Nadu and is supported by the state government under its EV policy.
This MoU comes on the heels of a big push for electric two-wheelers by State & Central Governments, with an updated FAME policy, GST reduction and benefits for taxpayers on loans for electric two-wheeler purchase.
The facility will not only cater to the EV manufacturing demand but also for Ather’s lithium-ion battery manufacturing, which is a key area of focus for the company going ahead. The investment is an opportunity for value creation in the sector and will create job opportunities for the region. More than 4,000 employees will be trained in requisite skills in the EV sector as a part of this initiative over the next five years.
Ather Energy opened pre-orders in July 2019 for Chennai and pre-orders till December are full. The third batch of Ather 450s are now available, with deliveries expected in February-March 2020. The company has been offering test rides at their experience centre, Ather Space in Wallace Garden Street, Chennai.
Ather has also been investing in setting up fast-charging infrastructure in Bengaluru and Chennai. Currently, Chennai has 10 fast charging points and more will be added in the coming months. Post the success in the two cities, Ather is gearing up to launch in Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi and Mumbai in the coming year.
According to Tarun Mehta, CEO, Ather Energy, "Ather is rapidly scaling up and we need to expand our production capacity to meet the growing demand. The new unit will help us meet the demand for the next few years across the country. Tamil Nadu has been a hub for automobile manufacturing, and they have been working closely with us in their effort to build an EV ecosystem. A manufacturing facility at Hosur was an ideal choice considering that, it is close to our R&D facilities in Bengaluru and most of the existing and potential future supply base is operating in the region. The availability of a built-up option of our desired scale and proximity helped in the decision making."