Having chosen the optimal occasion of World Environment Day to make a statement, Bangalore-based start-up Ather Energy today officially launched its much-awaited electric scooter in two versions – the 340 and the 450. While the Ather 340 is priced at Rs 109,750, the Ather 450 retails for Rs 124,750.
These prices are on-road, inclusive of Rs 22,000 subsidy, road tax, registration card and insurance. Also, early adopters will get a charging cable (a home charger in the case of the 450), standard installation and a one-year subscription plan free of cost.
Both the 340 and 450 are available in Bangalore for now, with plans to expand their brand to 12 major cities by 2020. The main reason for this city-based approach is the fact that Ather wants to set up its own EV charging infrastructure (dubbed AtherGrid) in all cities before it commences sales of its electric scooter. It has also earmarked a Rs 130 crore investment to set up 6,500 charging points by 2022.
How do the green scooters stack up?
Both the scooters are identical in terms of styling, dimensions and features. However, the Ather 450 sports a higher capacity and output from its electric motor and battery pack. The Ather 340 is powered by a 4.4kW motor with a torque rating of 20Nm. It has a claimed top speed of 70kph and a 0-40kph acceleration time of 5.1sec.
The Ather 450 is powered by a 5.4kW motor churning out 20.5Nm of peak torque, a claimed top speed of 80kph and a 0-40kph run is completed in 3.9sec. The electric scooter duo is powered by lithium-ion batteries. The Ather 340 has a usable capacity of 1.92kWh, while the Ather 450 has 2.4kWh.
Keeping range anxiety at bay
Both the scooters can be run in two modes – power and economy. The Ather 340 has a claimed real-world range of 60km in economy mode and 50km in power mode (ARAI figure is estimated at 86km but the company is awaiting confirmation on this).
Ather claims a real-world range of 75km in economy mode and 60km in power mode for the 450, while the ARAI figure is 107km. With the public fast charging network, the company claims 80 percent of the battery can be charged in 50min.
According to Ather, the 340 and the 450 are among the smartest and most feature-rich electric scooters to go on sale in India. Both the scooters boast features like a 7.0-inch capacitive touchscreen, adaptive LED headlight, GPS, over-the-air updates, charging station location tracking, custom user interface, diagnostic alerts, a parking assist function, combined brakes and more.
The scooter even has a six-axis IMU which allows it to calculate detailed riding information and also allows IMU-controlled self-cancelling indicators. A dedicated mobile phone app enables further control over the touchscreen as well as access to other vehicle functions and information.
The Ather electric scooter employs an aluminium and steel hybrid frame which is suspended on a telescopic front fork and a monoshock unit at the rear.
Braking duties are carried out by a disc brake at both ends along with a combined braking system (CBS) on both wheels. Ather claims a braking distance of 60-0kph in 28.6m.
The Ather electric scooter runs on 12-inch alloy wheels which are shod with 90/90 section tyres. The company states a water-wading limit of 300mm and ground clearance is 160mm.
Saddle height for the Ather 340 and 450 is rather low at 765mm (Honda Grazia is 766mm), whereas both the scooters weigh 118kg (kerb weight), the Honda Grazia tips the scale at 107kg.
Targeting hassle-free ownership
Ather will be offering a special subscription plan along with its electric scooters for a hassle-free ownership experience. Customers who opt for the subscription plan will have free access to the AtherGrid and Ather will also reimburse them via an e-wallet every 3 months for charging the scooters at their residence or any other private location.
The on-board computers will know that it has been charged in a private connection and Ather will then reimburse that amount to you. Other benefits include free maintenance (including labour costs, common replaceable parts like brake pads etc); free data for navigation, diagnostics, over-the-air updates etc and roadside assistance.
The monthly subscription plan is Rs 700 per month; however, customers also have the option for an annual plan at Rs 9,912 or a quarterly plan for Rs 2,596 (all prices are inclusive of 18 percent GST).
The company offers a vehicle warranty of two years or 30,000km for the Ather 340 and 450. The battery pack has a three-year/ unlimited kilometre warranty with 70 percent charge holding capacity and the warranty also covers manufacturing defects for three years (excluding cable, connector and physical wear and tear).
Ather has set up an assembly plant in Whitefield, Bangalore, with a current capacity to build 20,000 scooters per annum in a single shift.
Speaking at the launch in Bangalore, Tarun Mehta, co-founder and CEO, Ather Energy, said, “We started building electric scooters five years ago at IIT Madras and we are excited to launch not only the Ather 340, but also the higher performance variant, the Ather 450. It has been designed with quick acceleration, great handling, large storage space and new-to-category features like park assist, remote diagnostics and onboard navigation."
"In the last five years, we have not only built scooter, but an ecosystem for the electric vehicle future. Be it the suppliers and partners who were entering the EV market, the charging infrastructure that had to be setup for the consumers and the engineering talent itself to build the products.”
“Between the Ather 450 and Ather 340 launching and AtherGrid being up and running in Bangalore, we are really expanding into Chennai and Pune in the coming months,” added Mehta.
Interestingly, Ather Energy has plans to build an electric motorcycle and more derivatives from its scooter portfolio.
Also read: Riding impression of the Ather 450
2018 Ather 450 image gallery