Ather Energy’s new EV plant banks on smart manufacturing

by Sricharan R 12 Feb 2021


Electric scooter maker Ather Energy’s all-new manufacturing plant at Hosur in Tamil Nadu, which went on stream on February 1, is the company’s big bet for the future.

With a capacity to produce 110,000 e-scooters and also 120,000 battery packs per annum, the facility will serve as Ather Energy's national manufacturing hub catering to demand from across the country. 

Tarun Mehta, CEO and co-founder of Ather Energy said, “The opening of this facility is truly a milestone for Ather. The consumer demand has increased by multiple folds and with us expanding to new markets, this state-of-the-art facility will cater to demand across the country. We are proud of the fact that we designed and built a product from scratch which is in line with the government's Make in India vision. We are thankful to the Tamil Nadu government and their EV Policies which have allowed us to have most of our supplier base in the State making us self reliant. “

Factory of the future
The Hosur plant, spread across 123,000 square feet, is yet another example of an entrepreneurial ‘Make in India’ vision, Ninety percent of the manufacturing of Ather Energy products, including the battery pack, is localised. The Ather 450X and Ather 450 Plus e-scooters are completely made-in-India and  designed-in-Bangalore products. With a strong local ecosystem that has been developed, most of the component supplier base for Ather Energy is in Tamil Nadu, making Hosur an ideal location for the factory. 

The factory is supported by the government of Tamil Nadu under its EV Policy. Apart from EV manufacturing, the facility will also focus on lithium-ion battery manufacturing which is a key area of focus for Ather Energy going ahead. The investment is an opportunity for value creation in the sector and will create job opportunities in the region. As a part of this initiative, more than 4,000 employees will be trained in requisite skills in the EV sector over the next five years. This period will also see the company invest an additional Rs 635 crore.

The new manufacturing plant at Hosur is built using Industry 4.0 principles and has one of the most advanced solutions that integrates technology, human assets, existing systems and processes across the entire manufacturing network. The team is also working towards making the factory ‘Smart’ by authorizing smart algorithms to read the data collected and make meaningful interpretations. The end-to-end supply chain process is very information-centric which tightly integrates Ather Energy’s processes, logistics, warehousing, quality checks, production to finally vehicle despatch. 

The facility has the capacity to produce 120,000 battery packs annually. Ather Energy is the only EV OEM in India to make its own battery packs, and has filed 13 patents on the design and manufacturing of the li-ion batteries. The Ather 450X’s 2.9 kWh battery uses 21700 type li-ion cells, giving the battery a high energy density, charge and discharge rates and thereby enables fast charging and high performance. 

There is zero effluent generated from the Ather Energy factory. All e-wastes are handled by authorised recyclers and there is zero water discharge because of in-house STP and treated water circulation to flush and plantation. 

Ather Energy currently has a retail presence across 27 cities in 15 states across India (Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Coimbatore, Kolkata, Calicut, Ahmedabad, Mysore, Hubli, Jaipur, Indore, Panaji, Bhubaneshwar, Nasik, Surat, Chandigarh, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Guwahati, Nagpur, Noida, Lucknow, and Siliguri). It is likely expand to 40 cities by the end of 2021.