Ather new electric scooter could get a smaller battery pack, which could mean lower range in comparison to 450X and 450 Plus
High acquisition cost is a key factor that is limiting sales of electric two-wheelers. It’s true that EV sales have registered triple-digit YoY growth in recent times. But overall numbers are still a fraction of ICE-based two-wheeler sales. That ICE two-wheelers continue to register positive growth shows electric two-wheelers are still out of reach of a large section of the masses.
While the likes of Hero Electric have been able to match pricing of entry-level ICE-based two-wheelers, it will be difficult for Ather to achieve the same due to the advanced battery packs and hi-tech features offered with 450X and 450 Plus.
2023 Ather Electric Scooter Spied
As a solution, Ather appears to be working on a new scooter that will have a smaller battery pack and hence could be offered at a lower price point. This is something similar to Ola Electric that recently launched a more affordable Ola S1 at Rs 1 lakh with a range of 141 km.
2023 Ather Electric Scooter is expected to have the same level of performance as that of 450X and 450 Plus. Only thing is that range will be less with the smaller battery pack. Top speed could also be impacted to some extent. There are unlikely to be any compromises on equipment list, as Ather is positioned as a lifestyle product. Ather new electric scooter will have features such as OTA updates, touchscreen display, turn-by-turn navigation, etc.
It is likely that Ather new electric scooter will be based on 450X Gen 3, which was launched earlier this year in July. It comes with a range of upgrades such as a certified range of 146 km. True range is 105 km. It has a 25% bigger 3.7 kWh battery pack. With use of performance tyres, stopping distance has been reduced and grip on wet roads has improved by 22%. Dashboard interactions are now 80% faster, ensuring smoother maps and faster loading of apps.
Why launch affordable variant?
There are multiple reasons why OEMs have launched or are working to launch affordable versions of their existing scooters. One likely reason is rise in input costs, which has forced EV manufacturers to increase prices. Such price hikes have made these EVs even more inaccessible to a large section of consumers.
Second reason is discontinuation of state EV subsidies, as already announced by states like Goa and Maharashtra. It is possible that more states could discontinue EV subsidy, something that will push EV prices significantly. Even central government EV subsidy available under FAME II is set to expire on March 31, 2024. It has already received an extension, so is unlikely to get another one.
Another factor is that recharging infrastructure is now more easily accessible, as compared to earlier times. For example, Ather has more than 350 charging stations spread across more than 30 cities. And it’s only getting better with every passing day. So, even with low range, users don’t have to worry about getting stranded.