Ather Energy Rolls Out Ather 450X Scooter

Ather Energy Rolls Out Ather 450X Scooter

Electric vehicle major Ather Energy recently rolled out the new avatar of its flagship scooter Ather 450x with a bigger battery, new tyres, software changes at Rs 155,657 ex-showroom in Bengaluru.

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The flagship model has contributed to about 80% of sales of the company promising even more with bigger battery which will run to real-life range of 105 km, up from 85 km in the current variant.

According to Tarun Mehta, Co founder, the new battery size of 3.7 kWh is 25% bigger than the previous version but smaller than Ola Electric’s flagship S1 Pro’s 3.9 kWh battery size which has a range of up to 200 kilometres. Range is directly proportional to the size of the battery pack made up of lithium-ion cells. However it also causes a spike in price, a major deterrent. When the government stops the subsidy, the consumer may pull away from the shop. Currently, the government provides Rs 15,000 per kWh as part of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing (of Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme, which has a Rs 10,000 crore corpus. A bigger battery promises higher subsidy. The new battery will give Ather a subsidy of Rs 55,500 per vehicle, whereas Ola Electric would get Rs 58,000 per vehicle.

Highlighting the optimisation of battery size, Mehta has been quoted as saying, “The minute the subsidy stops you can’t sell the product. A true range of 180 km is going to cost you Rs 70,000 more just in material costs. So, we held on to 2.9 kwh for the longest time because every data point told us that it is enormously successful, and this is exactly what people need. Then as the market grows, we realised that for lots of new EV buyers psychologically 100 km is too important.”

The FAME-II subsidy is valid till end-March 2024. “I think most EV companies today have stopped doing product management. They are only doing two things – doing what the subsidy tells them, and the second is copying what Ather does. A 5-6 kwh battery pack is not viable,” he added.

Security has since become a big concern following a spate of battery fires forcing the government to submit quality control measures because the committee probing into the matter squarely blamed the manufacturers for scrambling the faulty design of an EV battery without sparing a thought for the consequences. Mehta claims, “We have a 400-member research and development team and half of them have been working on the reliability of the vehicle.”

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