E-scooters making startup Ather Energy is scouting for funding to the extent of Rs 200-300 crore to take their project to the next level, according to a report. It is expected that their lot of 2,000 vehicles in the first two models, Ather 450 and Ather 350 will be delivered over the next six months. The deliveries of the scooters have already commenced in Bengaluru, where the company has its operations. There may be some minor variations in the specifications of these two models and will give ample learnings from the market before Ather Energy launches a new range in about two yearsâ€™ time, in 2020-2021.
The project to make electric scooters has come about perhaps at the right moment, since the government at the Centre is trying to promote the use of electric vehicles and incentivise the buyers at least for now. Sellers of e-vehicles may also stand to benefit as the government sees the virtue of non-polluting vehicles, which will end up saving on costly fuel imports and precious foreign exchange as well.
The funds now being sought to be inducted will be used to meet the needs of Ather Energy in trying to expand its scooter production capacity from the current 50 vehicles per week to 250 vehicles per week. The startup has a target to manufacture and sell over 100,000 vehicles in the coming three years.
The element for the success of the e-vehicles, namely the charging facility is also being owned by the company. It has a product called Ather Grid under which it sets up charging points across the cities so that the sales of their scooters can be supported through the charging ports. Around 30 of them have been set up in Bengaluru already, and a start has been made in the city of Chennai, according to Ather.
Tiger Global and Hero Motocorp are the major investors in Ather Energy, apart from other investors.
With a massive two-wheeler population in the country, Ather Energy might be aiming to convert a small percentage into electric scooters.