Ather sales could have been higher, but production was impacted due to supply chain challenges
In terms of sale volumes, Ather Energy is currently ranked third in the list of electric two-wheeler manufacturers. While Ather is ahead of Ampere, TVS, Revolt, and Bajaj, it trails behind Hero Electric and Okinawa. This could change in future, as the company has accelerated its network expansion across the country.
Ather Electric Scooter Sales Jan 2022
Ather sold a total of 2,825 units in January 2022. This is YoY growth of 366%, as compared to sales numbers in January 2021. According to Ravneet S. Phokela, CBO at Ather Energy, the company has been witnessing increased demand for its scooters. However, shortage of auto components such as semiconductor chips continues to pose challenges. As and when the supply chain situation improves, Ather should be able to boost production to meet demand.
As of now, the company has a strong order book. In January, new experience centres were opened in Nagpur, Lucknow, Chennai and Trivandrum. Several more cities are expected to be covered in coming months. Ather is also expanding its network of fast charging stations known as Ather Grid Points. These are crucial in terms of ensuring greater acceptability for electric two-wheelers.
Ather currently has 29 retail stores spread across 24 cities. More than 300 fast-charging Ather Grid Points are available across these cities. By March 2023, Ather has plans to expand its footprint to 100 cities. Around 150 experience centres will be set up.
Ather second factory
As demand for its scooters is expected to increase significantly in the future, Ather is working proactively to boost production. A prominent move is the setting up of a new manufacturing facility in Hosur. This will be in addition to the first facility in the same city. When the second plant is fully functional, production capacity will increase from the current 1.20 lakh units to 4 lakh units per annum.
In addition to scooters, the new facility will also focus on battery manufacturing. It is to note that Ather has around 90% localization for its 450X and 450 Plus scooters. It includes the lithium-ion battery pack.
The company currently has 13 patents related to design and manufacturing of its battery packs. Manufacturing battery packs in-house not only reduces cost, but also allows more freedom in terms of developing the powertrain and other components.
Ather and Hero MotoCorp
Ather is among the well-funded EV startups in the country. Regular inflow of funds has helped the company to focus on R&D and come up with world-class products. Ather recently received Rs 420 crore from Hero MotoCorp that has been one of the first investors in the startup.
It will be interesting to see how this partnership shapes up in the future. There could be a possibility that Ather could merge entirely with Hero MotoCorp all while retaining its unique brand identity. Even before this investment, Hero MotoCorp had 34.8 percent shareholding in Ather Energy. A significant percentage of fresh funds are likely to be utilized for expanding retail and fast-charging networks.