Bengaluru-based EV startup Ather Energy has put its international expansion plans on hold, for now, thanks to the Covid-19 global crisis. The company has switched its focus from extending its network on a global scale to strengthening its grip in the domestic electric two-wheeler industry.
Based on the earlier reports, Ather Energy was aiming to enter at least two international markets by March 2021. In fact, the EV-maker was already in talks with representatives of a few Southeast Asian countries, where there is a good demand for electric vehicles and has a well-established charging infrastructure and network. Besides Southeast Asia, the electric scooter manufacturer was also eyeing to enter markets in Europe and Latin America. It also aimed to set up local assembly plants in international markets to fulfil the demand.
Unfortunately, all these plans have been put on hold for the time being because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ather Energy will rather put its energy in expanding its footprint here in India.
Speaking with carandbike, Tarun Mehta, CEO and co-founder, Ather Energy, said:
Let me just clarify this, we are not going international this year. Maybe next year, but not even sure of that! At some point, last year we did have serious plans. We were in active conversations in a few international markets. We were shortlisting our local country partners and then COVID happened and we kind of realised that the amount of effort we are putting in there was significant and the payoffs were really in the future and we have so much work to do in domestic expansion, not in 3,4,5 but like in 10, 15, 30, 50, 100 cities and our energy is better spent opening up the Indian markets so we decided to put on our international plans for hold this year. We will only pick it up sometime next year and given that opening a country takes a long time, I would realistically expect international sales to begin like in 2022, not before that.
In other news, Ather Energy will install around 100 Ather Grids in the country by the year-end. Ather Grids are charging stations or charging points specifically built to charge Ather electric scooters.