EV start-up Ather Energy, which is expanding aggressively into new cities every month and is also witnessing strong demand for its premium, high-performance electric scooters, is also experiencing some headwinds.
Like the rest of the auto industry, Ather too is feeling the heat from the global semiconductor shortage. According to Tarun Mehta, co-founder and CEO, the chip shortage has made it “lose some production in the past”, and the current situation is not good either. “It’s a huge challenge. The electronics industry is not in a great shape at the moment, and one is being found solving a new problem every week to secure production,” says Mehta.
While the company says that the current waiting period after booking a new Ather 450 or 450X scooter is less than a month, “getting closer to the festive season, the delivery lead times are likely to go up,” adds Ather’s CEO.
Despite the supply chain constraints, Ather says it could fulfil almost half of the demand in July as it had been able to build inventories at its new 110,000-unit annual capacity Hosur plant in Tamil Nadu, during the recent rounds of state-wise lockdowns across the country.
“Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the semiconductor shortage will go away for this entire year. So, the fire-fighting continues and I do fear that it is going to last for about 6-10 more months before there is better visibility on this front,” points out Mehta.
As a result, while the company is hopeful about the festive season bringing in more demand, the waiting period too is expected to rise in conjunction. “I believe our waiting periods will go up around August and September,” cautions Mehta.