The Bangalore-based Ather Energy today unveiled its S340 billed as “India’s first truly smart, electric scooter”. Aided by a breakthrough in the in-house-designed Lithium-Ion battery pack design, the team is gearing up for commercial production of the S340 by the end of the year.
It can be recollected that Autocar Professional broke the news of S340's launch last month.
According to the company, the S340 has a top speed of 72kph and a range of up to 60km. Target buyers for “this connected scooter are urban tech lovers, who are curious about futuristic products.” Pricing for the snazzy looking e-scooter has not been announced. The company predictably will be awaiting some additional incentives to be announced for electric vehicles in the Union Budget on February 29.
“The future will be connected and inevitably electric and the Ather S340 has been built as a manifestation of this philosophy,” says Tarun Mehta, CEO and co-founder of this start-up company. “It is an unapologetically electric vehicle, designed and built mostly in-house with engineering precision.” Structurally robust and intelligently designed, its IP67-rated battery pack is claimed to offer an uncompromised ride for 50,000km. The vehicle achieves an 80 percent charge in 50 minutes in fast charging mode and can be charged from any 5A normal socket in normal mode. It has a distinct sporty look with zero lateral weight offset, a low centre of gravity and intuitive LED lights that respond to ambient light conditions.
The S340 is packed with innovations, for which Ather Energy has filed 15 patent applications. The touchscreen dashboard with 24x7 connectivity integrates cloud-based data to help personalise the consumer ride experience. Features like user profile-based sign in, onboard navigation, pre-configured drive modes like sport and economy allow a personalised experience. Its integration with the S340 Mobile App keeps the rider connected with the vehicle, to configure ride and profile preferences and sync navigation routes remotely. Predictive analytics and aggregation of ride statistics enable customised recommendations.
As more vehicles go in-field, aggregate rider and vehicle data will help in customised vehicle updates that will be delivered automatically over the air. Tarun says, “Intelligent vehicles will revolutionise our commute experience in future and we have just begun that journey.”
Sharing his vision on the auto industry, he adds, “The automobile industry is in the midst of a huge technological disruption. The technology of electric vehicles has advanced in leaps and bounds. It is the preferred choice because of its inherent efficiency that will shape urban commute and the smart cities of tomorrow. The other aspect is the connectedness of the world around us, enabling integration of devices and making our life experiences seamless. Intelligent vehicles will revolutionise our commute experience in the future and the S340 stands at the cusp of this exciting reality.”
Online sales model
With a manufacturing unit setup in Bangalore, the production model of the S340 is slated to roll out by end-2016. The company has an online sales model, with doorstep delivery and service for the S340. Experience centres will bring the product to life and facilitate test rides in the next few months. In an industry first, Ather Energy will build an online-only purchase model with doorstep delivery and service. Pre-ordering will be open in Bangalore, Chennai and Pune in the next quarter. The company also aims at setting up an ambitious public charging infrastructure in every city it will operate in, partnering with government and private enterprises.
Ather Energy, which was founded by IIT graduates Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain, is among the few hardware start-ups in India. It was founded in 2013 and has received funding from Tiger Global and Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal. Last year in September, former Flipkart VP, Ravneet Singh Phokela joined the team as its chief business officer.
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