Electric-two-wheeler start-up Ather Energy is stepping up the charge to expand its operations in India’s nascent yet burgeoning electric two-wheeler market.
Electric two-wheeler sales in India clocked 240,662 units in the first six months of CY2022, contributing 3.6 percent to total two-wheeler retail sales that were pegged at 66,95,434 units. The significant uptick in the performance of these zero-tailpipe-emission vehicles can be easily ascertained from the fact that total e-two-wheeler sales in the country were pegged at 143,261 units in all of CY2021.
Cognisant of the accelerating growth in the electric two-wheeler market, Ather Energy is fast expanding its retail reach across the country. The Bengaluru-based company is on track to more than double its present number of retail outlets by the end of this fiscal and also expand reach to double the number of cities it caters today.
According to Ravneet S Phokela, chief business officer, Ather Energy, “We are going to aggressively expand from 52 outlets in 46 cities right now to 120 showrooms in 95 cities by end-FY2023.” The company has been adopting a franchise model to come up with new showrooms and the sight of a new Ather showroom coming up in cities like Udaipur and Thane is not surprising anymore.
With a limited two-model product portfolio that includes the Ather 450 X and 450 Plus, both of which received a significant upgrade in the form of their Gen 3 versions getting launched earlier this year in July and offered features like a bigger battery and wider tyres, the company is focused on tapping the full potential of its indigenously-developed maiden product that has now been in the market for almost four years since September 2018.
The start-up reported wholesales of 6,410 units in August 2022, registering 297 percent year-on-year growth, albeit on a low year-ago base, and also rolled out its 50,000th unit from its plant in Hosur, Tamil Nadu. While the company was well on its way to achieve its production plan of averaging 10,000 units per month, it lost volumes early on this year due to supply chain constraints, particularly semiconductor shortage.
Currently producing 10,000 e-scooters a month
Phokela made it a point to mention that most of these procurement challenges have now been resolved and the company is eyeing full-capacity utilisation or achieving its 10,000-unit-per-month plan for the remaining half of this fiscal. It will then graduate to starting off its second production line within the 400,000-unit annual capacity Hosur plant, possibly over the next two- to three weeks.
“With the supply chain ramping up, we are hoping to get the waiting period on our products down to 2-4 weeks depending upon the city,” he said.
Electric two-wheeler sales cross 225,000 units in April-August 2022