Bengaluru-based electric vehicles manufacturing startup Ather Energy is eyeing a Kolkata as a viable market in eastern India. Another market in the region that the company has found “interesting” is Guwahati.
The company’s CEO and co-founder, Tarun Mehta, told TOI: “Kolkata is one of the key markets for Ather Energy. We have received phenomenal responses on pre-orders as well as dealership requests from Kolkata. We are soon closing the dealers for Kolkata and should be up and selling in the market in the last quarter of 2020.”
The company recently unveiled its latest 125CC scooter - the 450X. “We have invested more than Rs 500 crore in order to go national and build a superior product that can cater to across markets,” he added.
Speaking on the company’s own charging platform - Ather Grid - he said, “It solves the critical need of public charging of electric vehicles. The Ather Grid network spans across 39 charging points in Bengaluru and 14 charging points in Chennai. We are planning 200+ charging points this year and 1,000 points by the end of 2021.”
“Before entering any market, we always set up the charging infrastructure. Currently, Ather Grid is available in Bengaluru and Chennai and we have set up more than 50 charging points in these cities. The same model will be followed before entering Kolkata. We are in talks with malls, tech parks, restaurants and coffee shops in Kolkata to set up the Ather Grid. We should open Kolkata with at least 10 public fast charging stations. In addition we also install a charging point in our customers’ apartments at the time of delivery,” Mehta said.
The Hero Moto Corp-backed startup also claims to have achieved the highest-selling figures in its category in two years. “The Indian electric two-wheeler market is predicted to grow at 44% CAGR during the forecast period with its fleet size reaching 633.9 thousand units by 2024. In the nearly two years, that we have been in the market, Ather 450 has become the highest-selling EV in the country,” Mehta said.
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