Ather closes shop till 31st March amid COVID-19 fears; deliveries to continue

As a precaution against the spread of the COVID-19, Ather Energy has announced that Ather Space centres will remain closed till March 31st 2020 for test rides and enquiries. However vehicle deliveries will continue as planned.

Tweeting about winding down the operations at its experience centres in Chennai and Bangalore, Ather has stated that even the servicing for their e-scooters will be scaled down. The service centres will be open only for periodic service or major issues that will hinder the ride. Customers are asked to not bring the scooters for minor issues that will not affect the ride. Also, Ather Grid points in the experience centres will remain open for customers.

CEO and Co-Founder of Ather Energy, Tarun Mehta says that though there is no direct impact as the company has localised most of the parts in the last 12 months, there will be an indirect impact because lots of passive components and other raw materials come from China, South Korea and Taiwan.

Ather updated their 450 electric scooter by launching the 450X, which offers better features and better performance. This scooter will be launched in the market in July, replacing the 450. The 450X is built on a lighter frame and weighs 108 kg, down from 118 kg also thanks to lighter battery, electronics and wiring. The specifications of the battery and motor have been updated, outputs increased to 2.9 kWh and 6 kW respectively. The maximum torque is 26 Nm, up by 6 Nm, and the 450X now offers a range of up to 85 km per charge.

Ather has equipped the 450X with 4G and Bluetooth connectivity for calls and music as standard now and the scooter has switched to Android as its software platform. On the business side, the company is building its second manufacturing plant in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, with a production capacity of 100,000 units per year and is expected to start operations in 2021.