Ather Energy recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Tamil Nadu government to build a 400,000 sq ft factory to increase its production capacity.
Now, the Bengaluru-based electric two-wheeler manufacturer is ready to move to the next phase of its growth plans. Ather Energy plans to scale up its operations and expand into Tier-1 cities in the Indian market. To achieve this goal, the company plans to inaugurate Ather Space experience centre format across major cities in the country - Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and New Delhi, amongst others. To ensure timely execution of the strategy, Ather Energy is inviting dealer partners to set up these experience centres.
Ather Energy will undertake the designing task of the retail space and experience. The Ather Space experience centres will allow prospective buyers to test ride the vehicles (currently just the Ather 450) and get hands-on with Ather’s intelligent & connected product portfolio. The company already has Ather Space in Bengaluru and Chennai.
Speaking about setting up new Ather Space experience centres across India, Ravneet Phokela, Chief Business Officer, Ather Energy, said:
Intelligent electric vehicles are a new category for which the traditional retail model doesn’t really work. We have spent the last couple of years pioneering a new model in Chennai and Bengaluru, which is focused on experience. We are now looking for dealers and partners to expand across the country in a short period of time. It is an opportunity for us and the partners to prepare for the next phase of the automobile revolution and invest in skill development and employment for a new breed of retail professionals.
To give you a quick recap, Ather Energy started its operations with the launch of 340 and the 450 electric scooters. However, the relatively lower-spec and budget Ather 340 was discontinued in September last year due to low demand from the customers, and more preference for the 450. While the deliveries of the electric scooters commenced in Bengaluru in early 2019, the vehicles started reaching their owners in Chennai in October 2019.
The electric motor of the Ather 450 makes 5.4 kW of maximum power and a peak torque of 20.5 Nm. The Ather 450 accelerates from 0-40 km/h in 3.9 seconds, while the top speed is rated at 80 km/h. In Eco Mode, the electric scooter is claimed to return a range of 75 km. Anchoring power, unlike on most of the electric scooters in the Indian market, comes from disc brakes on both wheels.
Other key features of the Ather 450 include full-LED lighting, 7-inch capacitive touchscreen with onboard navigation and other smart functions, Parking Assist and 24-litre storage space.
The Ather 450 already has a long list of rivals, although the biggest threat will come from the upcoming Bajaj Chetak electric scooter that will be launched in Pune and Ather Energy’s home turf, Bengaluru. The first electric two-wheeler from Bajaj Auto will be launched in India in this month (January 2020) and the deliveries will start soon after.