Ather has announced a new guaranteed buy-back scheme for its electric scooters.
Ather 450X deliveries to begin by Diwali
Company announces buy-back scheme for its scooters
Sales to begin in Delhi by next month
Over a virtual press conference, Tarun Mehta, CEO, Ather Energy, announced a new buy-back scheme for its electric two wheelers. He also mentioned that deliveries of its flagship scooter, the 450X, will start around Diwali, next month. The company will be opening the window for payment completion to customers who have already pre-booked the scooter and will commence deliveries by Diwali that is slated for mid-November.
Another update from the conference was with regard to the battery subscription model that Ather announced at the launch of the 450X. Tarun Mehta said that the company has been tracking customer feedback and response to the model, and found that there has been a reluctance to perennial subscription. Moreover, the pandemic has aggravated customer resistance to partial ownership while also reducing the risk appetite of its financial partners, aiding the subscription plans. As a result, Ather Energy has “paused” its battery subscription model and is now offering the 450X at its one-time purchase fee.
Ather assured buyback
The company also announced an assured buyback scheme on both its Ather 450X and 450 Plus models. While the former will be bought back for a maximum of Rs 85,000 at the end of three years, the latter will fetch its owner Rs 75,000. Ather Energy, however, has put a maximum limit on the mileage at 30,000km.
Ather new leasing options
The company announced a new lease plan, wherein customers can take home their Ather scooter at a minimum down payment of Rs 25,000 or a maximum of Rs 60,000. Monthly rentals inclusive of routine service and insurance start at Rs 3,900 and the customer can exit any time after one year or have the option of retaining or surrendering the vehicle at the end of three years. As an introductory offer, it announced a no-retainer fee at the end of three years for an initial lot of customers opting for the lease plan.
Ather Energy has partnered with Bangalore-based Autovert, an electric automotive financing firm for its leasing model.
Ather 450 Plus price cut, subscriptions updated
Ather Energy also announced a 6 percent reduction in the price of the Ather 450 Plus, taking its price down by Rs 9,000 to Rs 1.39 lakh.
The company has also updated its subscription plans. The plans now offer four independent packs that the customer can choose from based on their usage, and will now start from Rs 125 per month. These include Ather Connect Lite (for all basic connected features), Ather Connect Pro, Ather Service Lite (periodic maintenance, RSA and labour) and Ather Service Pro (premium service experience).
Ather expansion plans
Ather had announced plans to expand to eight more cities in 2020 outside of Bangalore and Chennai, where it already had a presence, but the pandemic has taken its toll on these plans.
“Initially due to the lock-down, the supply chain was impacted with stretched timelines for sourcing all components. Secondly, we faced reluctance from our financial partners in trying new models due to the significantly-decreased risk appetite,” said Mehta.
“In terms of groundwork, opening up of experience centres in the new cities, onboarding new dealer partners and identifying charging infrastructure locations along with new development work have all been taking longer due to the outbreak of the pandemic,” he added.
However, the company took a conscious call to prioritise deliveries of the 450X, resolve post-ownership complaints of existing and new customers as well as introducing multiple financing options such as lease and subscription for ease of acquisition.
Ather enters Delhi
Ather states that it will introduce its scooters in Delhi by Diwali. “The Delhi EV policy makes our product very much lucrative, and we are absolutely excited to launch Ather products in the national capital,” said Ravneet Phokela, chief business officer, Ather Energy.
Meanwhile, the company will continue expanding its charging infrastructure network and would add 135-140 public charging points, Ather Grid, and continue to offer free charging to customers at these stations until March 2021.
"We will end FY2021 with 15-16 cities and we are looking to add around 25 cities on top of that next year," he added.
The company will also see its new 50,000-unit annual capacity plant in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, going on stream by December 2020.