One of the most anticipated products from an Indian automotive start-up, Ather S340 smart electric scooter is geraed for launch on 5th June in Bengaluru. The smart electric scooter was first displayed in 2016 by the start-up, which traces its roots to IIT Madras.
Expected to be launched at a price of INR 1-1.1 lakhs, S340 will come in at a premium compared to competitors, which run on petrol. The additional price could be justified by a host of never before seen features which it promises to provide. They include parking assist function, over-the-air updates, ‘push navigation’, charging station location tracking, custom user interface, and diagnostic alerts.
Ather S340 smart electric scooter derives its power from a battery pack, which drives a brushless DC motor with maximum torque output of 14Nm. Ather claims that S340 can go from 0-40 kmph in 5.1 sec, and has a top speed of 72 kmph. Real-world range is expected to be of 60 kms. Fast-charging feature allows one to charge the battery to 80 percent in 50 min, akin to how smartphones are charged.
Ather hasn’t limited it’s development and design to the scooter. Instead, it has tried to address a common issue that drives many potential customer away from Electric Vehicles, the lack of supporting infrastructure for EVs. Ather will launch AtherGrid for installation of intelligent and connected charging stations across Bengaluru. AtherGrid will be open to all EVs, and not just Ather S340.
As per the company, by May end, 30 charging stations were installed across the city. This number will be ramped upto 60 by 2018 end. By smartly placing charging stations at malls, cafes, restaurants, tech parks etc., Ather intends to provide a charging station within 4 km driving distance from any point in the city. To woo users, usage for first six months is free for customers. This certainly helps the cause as Bengaluru has a relatively higher acceptance of EVs in the 4 wheeler segment already, and an improved charging infrastructure shall help both, the 2 and 4 wheeler EV market.
Post launch, though Ather S340 won’t have any direct competition as it is venturing into unchartered territory, still the closest competition in the segment will come from Okinawa Praise and Twenty Two Motors’ Flow, which are priced at INR 59,899, and INR 74,740 (ex-showroom, Delhi) respectively.