Ather Energy, currently present only in Bengaluru, plans expansion to other cities across the country while it plans to double the manufacturing capacity to over 25,000 units per annum. The electric scooter makers have raised $51 million (Rs 354 crores) in its latest round of funding. Tarun Mehta, Co-founder and CEO of Ather Energy, has stated that the startup will use the fresh capital to expand to new cities and ramp up its manufacturing capacity and supply chain network.
This funding was backed by Sachin Bansal, Co-founder of Flipkart with investment of $32 million (Rs 222 crores) while the rest of the funding came in from Hero MotoCorp adding $19 million (Rs 132 cr) in convertible debt and venture debt InnoVen Capital which invested $8 million (Rs 55 cr). This means that Ather Energy has raised $90 million (Rs 626 cr) to date.
The company claims that these added funds will be used to expand capacities and tackle order backlogs of around 5 months. With a base in Bengaluru, the company plans expansion to Chennai in the coming weeks and then on to 30 cities across the country by the end of 2023.
Quote by Tarun Mehta, Co-founder & CEO, Ather Energy: “Electric vehicles are here to stay and Ather is playing a leading role in driving this change. Sachin has been part of our growth journey and this investment is a strong endorsement of the momentum we’ve built over these years. Post the successful launch in Bengaluru, we are eager to reach out to consumers in other cities and to build more products that will excite consumers to switch to electric vehicles. The changing landscape of personal transport has also offered us more opportunities and you will hear about the new business models that we are investing in very soon.”
Quote by Sachin Bansal: “The traditional auto industry is up for a redefinition. Watching Ather closely since my early investment in 2014, I am convinced that the ecosystem that Ather is building with their products is the future of urban mobility. Their focus on end to end customer experience will open up new revenue opportunities and accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in India. The future is electric and I am excited to be a part of this journey in shaping the future.”
Ather plans to expand its footprint for its two electric scooters, called 340 and 450. The company has announced FAME-2 subsidy for the Ather 450 which will now cost Rs.1.23 lakhs while deliveries have commenced at the new price. Ather 340 is priced at Rs. 1.09 lakhs.
Both these scooters share similar styling while their battery packs and torque ratings differ. The Ather 340 is powered by an electric motor offering 5.8 bhp power and 14 Nm torque with the battery offering 60 kms range. 450 gets an electric motor offering 7.1 bhp power and 20.5 Nm torque with a 75 km range. Both scooters get an automatic gearbox as standard with the battery expected to offer 50,000 kms.
Electric scooters are a big part of the PM Narendra Modi Government plan for the future, especially since there are around 20 million motorcycles and scooters clogging the roads of Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. The Government now targets electric scooters to go upto 30 percent by 2030 from a current 1 percent. Besides Ather Energy, Hero Electric, Twenty Two Motors and Okinawa also sell electric scooters in India.