Ather Energy is not your typical automobile company and they don’t want to be identified so too, they like to be known as a Smart product company and at the Surge Conference, Bangalore they unveiled the Ather S340 Smart Electric Scooter.
Co-founded by IIT Madras alumni Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain in 2013, the duo has been working on developing India’s first connected electric scooter and after many iterations, prototypes. Along the way, they managed to impress the Flipkart founders, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal and Tiger Global and have invested into the startup.
There are electric scooters in market these days but frankly they don’t excite much people. The perceived notion is that the vehicles are slow and they don’t offer good range and battery life. Ather wants to change that outlook and also make the scooters truly smart and connected. So, this is not your regular electric scooter but how the future mobility would be.
“The future will be connected and inevitably electric and the Ather S340 has been built as a manifestation of this philosophy,” said Tarun Mehta, CEO & Co-Founder. “It is an unapologetically electric vehicle, it has been designed and built mostly in-house with engineering precision.” but also adds “Intelligent vehicles will revolutionize our commute experience in future and we have just begun that journey.”
As a thoroughbred electric vehicle, the Ather S360 runs on Lithium-Ion battery pack and offers a top speed of 72kms and a range between 60 to 70kms, depending on your riding style. The battery pack has been aesthetically and conveniently concealed and sealed to the body at bottom of the vehicle. The charging cable is also attached with the vehicle so that you don’t have to remember each time to carry it along.
The highlight and the most appealing part of the Scooter is at its dashboard. It is smart, connected and in sync with the technology interface people are familiar with – a capacitive touchscreen with on-board navigation and offering other useful information and connected with the server to provide intelligent inputs about health of the vehicle and your riding style.
The Ather S360 is also truly Made in India with the production facility set up in Bangalore, right from the R&D to manufacturing the vehicle would be in-house and the Ather has 15 patent application filed so far.
Ather is also taking a different industry-first sales strategy while there will be experience center where people can come and experience the vehicle, Ather Energy will build an online-only purchase model with doorstep delivery and service . Also the company says there will be a relation ship manager assigned for each customer with whom they can interact post-purchases. The company also aims at setting up an ambitious public charging infrastructure in every city it will operate in, partnering with government and private enterprises.
While Ather has not reveled the pricing of the S340 scooter yet, expect a pricing placing it between Honda Activa and Vespa scooters. It would take another couple of months for the scooter to make into the roads after completing all the statutory formalities. Pre-ordering will be open in the cities of Bangalore, Chennai and Pune in the next quarter.
Ather S340 definitely sounds interesting with what I saw and told about. Now, I will wait for the first ride and the pricing. The idea is definitely what the future of mobility is all about, hopefully Ather Energy will deliver the smooth experience on-road too.