Tweeting a picture of the last Ather electric scooter made in Bengaluru, Tarun Mehta, Co-Founder and CEO, Ather Energy, said that it will drastically speed up the production from 7 EVs/day to 75 EVs/shift with the production relocation. The new manufacturing site in Tamil Nadu will take the company from a start-up to a mainstream, big-name brand if all goes as per plan.
The last Ather rolls off from our first plant in Whitefield, Bangalore.— Tarun Mehta (@tarunsmehta) December 19, 2020
It’s amazing what the teams pulled off. From struggling to produce 7 vehicles/day to 75/shift!
Look forward to our next chapter from Hosur now! pic.twitter.com/e8mTleNoXf
Setting up the new manufacturing facility will help ramp up production capacity, and speed up the expansion plan. Ather Energy is looking to produce 3,000 units a month initially and increase production to 8,000 scooters by the first half of next year. The information comes from Tarun Mehta, the co-founder of Ather Energy, via TheHinduBusinessLine.com.
Ather averaged about 300 units a month from its Bengaluru plant with the 450 and the low numbers mainly are due to the availability of the scooter in just 2 cities initially – Bengaluru and Chennai, besides the premium pricing and the lack of a widespread charging network. The Ather 450 Plus and Ather 450X scooter will be available in 27 cities by the end of 2021, as we have already reported which should help it get the numbers go north.
The company launched a special edition of the Ather 450X, dubbed the Ather 450X Series1 featuring red & black body panels to recognize early adopters. Deliveries of the Ather 450X have commenced in select cities, and we have reported the delivery status for other cities.
As Ather hopes, the production at the Hosur factory, which is spread over 4,00,000 sq.ft., will touch 100,000 units per year. Besides making the electric scooters, Ather Energy will also produce batteries, with imported Lithium-Ion cells at the site. The same plant would be utilized to manufacture Ather’s electric motorcycle, though this is still a few years out.
The current focus for Ather is to improve retail presence, widen its charging network and drive awareness of the benefits in switching to electric vehicles. The company is not considering exports of the Ather 450X for the moment though there is a massive opportunity in the post-COVID world for personal mobility that is electric and connected.
Relocating the manufacturing to Hosur will help Ather Energy receive the many benefits of the Tamil Nadu EV policy, which allows 100% exemptions on electricity tax to the EV related industries in the state, till 31st December 2025, alongside stamp duty exemption for the purchase of land to set up factories.
Ather is also expanding the Ather Grid, its charging network. Currently, the company has 39 charging points in Bengaluru and 14 in Chennai. It plans to increase the charging station network to up to 6,500 by 2023, across 30 cities in India, with an aim to have one station every 4 km in the cities that it operates. By the end of the month, it plans to raise it to 150 charging plugs.
Ather has so far raised around Rs 800 crore in multiple rounds including from Hero Motocorp which owns a substantial part of the company.