Hero MotoCorp and Tiger Global-backed electric two-wheeler maker Ather Energy on Sunday said that it has signed an MoU with the Tamil Nadu government to set up a manufacturing facility at Hosur.
The facility, to come up at a 400,000 sq ft area, will house electric two-wheelers manufacturing and also Ather’s lithium-ion battery, which is considered to be a key area of focus for the company.
Though the company did not disclose the investments, sources in the know said that Ather will be making over Rs 600 crore into this TN facility. A few months ago, Ather had said that it will make an investment of $100 million into the new facility as its Bengaluru plant nearing saturation. The investment is an opportunity for value creation in the sector and will create job opportunities for the region. More than 4,000 employees will be trained in requisite skills in the EV sector as a part of this initiative over the next 5 years.
The decision to invest in Tamil Nadu stems from the fact that the state government came out with an electric vehicle policy recently which offers huge incentives. Ather Energy has already announced its plans to expand to 30 cities in the next few years and this MoU will help scale up production plans for the same. This MoU comes on the heels of a big push for electric two-wheelers by state & central governments with an updated FAME policy II, GST reduction, and benefits for taxpayers on loans for electric two-wheeler purchase, the company said.
It may be recalled that Ather Energy opened its pre-orders in July 2019 for Chennai and pre-orders till December are full. The third batch of Ather 450s are now available with deliveries expected in February-March 2020. The company has been offering test rides at their experience centre, Ather Space in Chennai.
Ather has also been investing in setting up fast-charging infrastructure in Bengaluru & Chennai. Currently, Chennai has ten fast charging points. Ather is gearing up to launch in Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi and Mumbai in the coming year.
Tarun Mehta, CEO, Ather Energy, said: “We are rapidly scaling up and we need to expand our production capacity to meet the growing demand. The new unit will help us meet the demand for the next few years across the country.”
Tamil Nadu has been a hub for automobile manufacturing, and they have been working closely with us in their effort to build an EV ecosystem.”
“A manufacturing facility at Hosur was an ideal choice considering that, it is close to our R&D facilities in Bengaluru and most of the existing and potential future supply base is operating in the region. The availability of a built-up option of our desired scale and proximity helped in the decision making,” he added.
The Ather 450 is designed for city riding conditions, with a top speed of 80 km/hr, a range of 75 km and one of the quickest accelerations of 3.9 seconds from 0-40 km/hr in the scooter category. Also, for the first time in the category, Ather 450 comes with parking assist, which allows riders to reverse into tight parking spots. The key differentiator of the Ather 450 is its intelligent features, seamless charging and ownership experience.
The Ather 450 has a 7” touchscreen dashboard that allows onboard navigation with options of alternative routes and saved locations. It comes with the Ather app that enables push navigation from the phone to the vehicle dashboard, remote monitoring of the vehicle’s health and charge status. Finally, with the over-the-air (OTA) updates functionality, the vehicle can improve over time with continuous upgrades in addition to new features and functionalities.