|Smart electric scooter start-up Ather Energy, backed by two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp, is looking at differentiating itself in the segment with digital support through doorstep delivery of scooters and personalised support with customers mapped to dedicated support personnel.|
The company is planning to raise over Rs 200 crore to support the commercial launch of its first vehicle by next year. The company has also set a target to sell around 20,000-30,000 units in three-four years.
Ather does not intend to restrict itself to manufacturing automobiles alone in the future, said a senior company official.
Ather Energy CEO and co-founder Tarun Mehta said that the functional test for the company's S340, which will be its first model, is over and it gave good results. By February, the company expects to start trial production and, by the middle of next year, the product will be in the market.
"We will not compete with petrol vehicles. Our target customers are those who understand and appreciate this technology and it will be for city ride," said Mehta.
The company is planning to launch the product first in three cities — its hometown Bengaluru, Chennai, and Pune. Simultaneously, it is also looking at setting up infrastructure to charge the batteries.
Mehta ruled out using Hero MotoCorp's network and sharing of technologies with India's largest two-wheeler maker, which invested over Rs 200 crore in the company last year.
"We don't have any technology sharing, product sharing or IT sharing agreement with Hero," said Mehta, who will be taking on Hero, TVS, and other big brands in the market.
He claims that Ather S340 has a top speed of 72 km/hr, a range of 60 km, and comes equipped with fast charging.
It is designed to be faster and lighter than most conventional scooters.
"We are not just building the best two-wheeler, we are also participating in the growth of a new and nascent industry with completely new technology, new platforms, and with a very different vendor and refuelling infrastructure," said Mehta, whose company is not only working on developing the product but also the entire ecosystem.