Ather to stay clear from mass market scooters as it seeks to triple CAPEX from 4.5 to 15 lakh units by end of FY24

The Bengaluru-based EV maker may introduce a scooter in the 1,00,000 category.

By Amit Vijay M calendar 09 Jan 2023 Views icon2698 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

HeroMoto Corp-backed Ather Energy has confirmed that it will stay clear of mass-market scooters and focus on the premium end of the market with new model launches in the one lakh plus category. 

Ather is also looking to triple its capacity from its current 4.5 lakh units to 15 lakh units by end of FY24-FY25 for which the company is eyeing a new location in India’s North and West region.

The Bengaluru-based EV maker may introduce a scooter in the 1,00,000 category. The company had posted a loss of 344.1 crores in FY21 and is inching forward to turning cash positive. “If gross margins allow, we will have lower priced variants but certainly we will not get into the Rs 60,000-Rs 80,000 price bracket as product quality cannot be compromised,” said Ravneet Singh Phokela, Chief Business Officer, Ather Energy.

The company management is currently in talks with three state governments for land to set up a new manufacturing capacity which in all likelihood will be in the northern belt of the country. The maker of 450x electric is expanding its network presence from 90 experience centres to touch 250 touch points pan India by the end of FY24.

Ather also plans to consolidate its presence in the East and North regions. “This will help to fully utilise existing capacity by the end of the current calendar year,” said Tarun Mehta Co-Founder & CEO of Ather Energy, speaking to Autocar Professional, on the side-lines of its Annual Community Day event in Bengaluru which was attended by over 1,000 plus customers and its latest 5.0 stack was unveiled. “We should be able to close this in the next three to six months as setting up the new facility will require a minimum one-year period,” Mehta added.

Ather, which raised close to $50 million from VC fund Caladium Investment and a clutch of other investors, is also eyeing an IPO when ‘it is close to being profitable.’ In the FY21 period, it was losing Rs 1.5 for every rupee earned. “That has very much changed now and we are increasingly cash positive and that's the reason we don't want to get into the lower end of the market or diversify in electric motorcycles,” Mehta explained.

On developing swappable options to counter the subsidy erosion post-March 2024, he said “our current focus at the premium end reflects our goal to walk on our own.”

Ather wants to stay clear of swappable batteries as they will have to invest in creating over three times the supply of batteries which will be an added investment. “Also, swapping as a solution that can work in the last-mile or mid-mile segment has a limited role in the performance biking,” the founder of Ather Energy emphasised

The firm, which is currently valued at 2,000 to 3,000 crores based on the current order book, is also planning to expand its charging infrastructure (Ather Grid) to 1,300 fast chargers by March 2023 from 600 at the moment. The EV maker also plans to tap into the residential charging space offering solutions for apartment charging as it seeks to build a new charging product that will work for other brands as well.

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