We were impressed by the Ather 450 when we first sampled it. However, the electric scooter was sold only in Bengaluru back then. But hopes are again high for the company expanding to major cities as it has announced plans to enter Chennai by June this year. Ather is calling this their ‘rapid expansion phase’ and they’re hoping to set-up their dealer networks as well as installing the required charging infrastructure in 30 major cities across the country in the next two years.
Like what the startup did in Bengaluru, Ather Energy will be introducing the 450 and 340 electric scooters in Chennai in June and will also set-up the important infrastructure that is vital for electric mobility. Ather Grid, the company’s public charging infrastructure will be installed at consumer-friendly locations like cafes, malls, tech-parks, gyms etc. Moreover, to encourage riders to switch to green energy, Ather has announced free charging at all Ather Points for the first 6 months for Ather users. Currently, in Bengaluru, the company has 31 charging points in 24 locations.
Commenting on their first step in expansion, Ravneet Phokela, Chief Business Officer of the company said “After a successful launch in Bengaluru, we are expanding across the country starting with Chennai. The launch in Chennai is like a homecoming for us, as the organization was conceptualized at IIT Madras. We have already started receiving pre-order interest from enthusiasts on the website. As we enter this exciting market, we are looking at extending the same go-to-market strategy that we employed in Bengaluru, starting with accepting pre-orders, setting up of the charging infrastructure and the Experience Center, followed by the delivery of vehicles.”
The 450 is powered by a BLDC motor, which develops 5.4kW (7.2bhp) and 20.5Nm of peak torque. The motor is coupled with a two-stage reduction gearbox (7.8:1 ratio) that produces 155Nm torque at wheels which aids the scooter to sprint from 0-40kmph in 3.9 secs and 0-60kmph in 9 seconds flat. For a straight comparison, the Aprilia SR125 managed to hit the 60kmph mark in 9 seconds on our test run. Claimed top speed is 80kmph.
Words by Suvrat Kothari