When it comes to major players in the electric vehicle spectrum, we can’t miss out on Ather Energy. The Bengaluru-based electric scooter manufacturer recently completed two years since the launch of the Ather 450 in Bengaluru. Since 2018, the company has grown in leaps and bounds adding the Ather 450 Plus & Ather 450X to its product portfolio and will be expanding to 8 more cities in 2020.
Ather was the first automobile company in India that has been offering OTA upgrades to its consumers: adding new ride modes, new features and constantly improving the ride and ownership experience. With 6 Over The Air (OTA) software upgrades, the Ather 450s on the road have only been improving since their delivery, unlike traditional vehicles that don’t have the ability to upgrade their in-field vehicles.
The company has added a slew of financial models to make adoption of EVs easy. Their first-in-category lease plans made owning a two-wheeler easier, with no long term commitment. And with the Ather 450X launched in January 2020, the company has rolled out an innovative battery subscription model. In this plan, the consumer pays for the scooter, without the cost of the battery. The battery is paid for under a monthly subscription model that only makes the upfront scooter sticker price lower, but also provides a lifelong battery warranty – as long as the customer is on the subscription plan.
The company is now planning to come up with a vehicle exchange program to attract scooter owners to upgrade to a better electric vehicle. There are other ownership models that the company is piloting, which will be rolled out over the next few months.The next 6 months will see Ather in multiple cities with its new products : Ather 450X & Ather 450 Plus. The company is gearing up to open experience centres through dealerships in Hyderabad, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Coimbatore, etc. The new 400,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Hosur will also open later in the year.
Tarun Mehta, Co-founder and CEO Ather Energy said “The lockdown helped us reevaluate and reassess our long term goals. We are going to open as many avenues as possible to promote electric vehicles. From introducing new ownership models and to continue offering the most varied financing options, we will ensure that owning an E2W is a hassle-free proposition for any consumer. Exciting times ahead for Ather and the EV industry”
Ather recently joined hands with the Bengaluru-based bike-sharing platform Bounce for a strategic alliance. To help COVID-19 frontline workers like healthcare workers, delivery partners, or civic authorities; Bounce had introduced ‘ScooterHero’ a P2P initiative where individuals could rent out their vehicles directly during the lockdown. Taking the P2P program a step further, the tie-up with Ather enables new Ather 450 owners to monetize the idle time of the vehicle by listing their vehicle on the Bounce App for all their customers and earning an additional income. Unlike the typical dockless model Bounce offers, the P2P scooters are picked up and returned to the owner by Bounce customers.