This Indian Startup Wants Scooter Riders to Go Electric Right Away
Ather Energy is an India-based startup looking to tap into the demands for an electric scooter for day-to-day use.
India’s dream for an electric car might be far away but the two-wheeler segment is seeing some movement already. Smart electric scooter-maker Ather Energy wants to sell 1 lakh units in the next three years, and expects to earn a profit on every unit sold by then.
But with a price tag of Rs 1,09,750 for the Ather 340 and Rs 1,24,750 for the 450 variant, it’s more expensive than any petrol scooter in India currently.
We believe in the next three years we would be unit-level profitable and in about three to four years we would have an Ebitda-level profitability.Tarun Mehta, founder and chief executive officer, Ather Energy
The five-year-old startup, which recently launched its flagship scooters — Ather 450 and Ather 340 — expects to lose money on every unit sold until it ramps up production to around 50,000 units a year, Mehta said.
The company is planning to roll out around 2,000 vehicles from its Whitefield plant in Bengaluru in the first phase. “By the end of this year, we want to churn out 200-250 vehicles every week, and by next year we want to churn out 600 units a week,” Mehta said.
Ather Energy has also built an extensive charging infrastructure across Bengaluru and controls retail and aftersales — a model similar to that of Tesla’s. So far, the company has deployed charging grids to 17 locations in Bengaluru and aims to extend it to 30 in the next few months. “The idea is that you are never more than four kilometres away from a nearby charging point,” Mehta said.
Ather Energy will compete with the likes of Hero Electric’s electric scooter AXL-HE20. The yet-to-be-launched two-wheeler is expected to have a top speed of 85 km per hour and a range of 110 kilometres on a single charge. The price of the vehicle, however, is yet to be announced.
(This story was first published on BloombergQuint)
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