Ather Energy, a six-year-old manufacturer of smart electric scooters, is drawing up plans to set up a new manufacturing unit in South India involving an investment of $50-100 million in the next few years.
The proposed expansion has been necessitated in view of growing volumes for its electric scooters and strengthening of an ecosystem with the government support for electric vehicles. Also, the company has chalked out an ambitious plan to sell one million units by 2023 with its presence in 30 cities across the country.
“The new factory will come in phases as our Bengaluru facility could handle only 20,000-25,000 units per annum. For our one million sales expansion, we foresee an investment of $50-100 million over the next three years,” Tarun Mehta, Co-founder & CEO, Ather Energy, said while announcing the launch of Ather 450 for Chennai market.
He said the company was talking to governments of four southern States – Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – for the proposed manufacturing venture. After Bengaluru, where it started selling its electric scooter Ather 450 a year ago, the company has now expanded to Chennai and is hoping to enter Hyderabad during this year.
The price of vehicle
In Chennai, the on-road price of the Ather 450, which has a top speed of 80 km/hr and a range of 75 km, is ₹1,31,683 and Ather 340 will be priced at ₹1,19,091. The price includes two helmets, along with the FAME 2 subsidy and other basics like insurance, road tax, GST, and other fees.
People can buy Ather 450 by paying the full money upfront or through financing mode. It also offers a leasing option, one can take the vehicle on leasing by paying a refundable deposit and a monthly sum of ₹2,500. The Ather 450 comes with a home charging point, which will be installed by the company at either owners’ home or workplace.
Mehta said there has been a tremendous response to Ather 450 in Chennai after the scooter was showcased during the last week end. In the first pre-launch, Ather 450 was completely sold out till November. The company opened pre-orders for its second limited batch of deliveries on Tuesday.
“With the kind of response we get in Chennai, we hope the second pre-order will also be closed quickly. We now believe that Chennai will be a bigger market than Bengaluru for us,” he said.
Though he declined to reveal the number, people indicate it would be run into a few hundreds.
The deliveries for the first pre-order will happen in September and for the second limited pre-orders, deliveries will happen during November/December.
In Chennai, it has installed charging points in 10 locations which will be ramped up to 50 locations by the end of 2019.
It will be opening Ather Space, the experience centre at Nungambakkam for prospective buyers to test ride vehicles and other information. Service will be done at customers’ doorsteps.
With its next expansion planned in Hyderabad, it hopes to achieve a volume of 10,000 units across three cities this year.
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