Indian electric scooter manufacturer Ather Energy has announced another successful round of funding.
According to a company press release, Bengaluru-based Ather Energy raised a total of $51 million in the latest funding round from multiple investors. Sachin Bansal, the co-founder of one of India’s largest e-commerce website Flipkart, invested $32 million. One of India’s leading two-wheeler manufacturers, Hero MotoCorp converted $19 million debt into equity.
The company manufactures the Ather 450, an intelligent electric scooter which is currently being supplied to early adapters in the cities of Bengaluru and Chennai. The scooter sports a lithium-ion battery pack of 2.4 kWh capacity. The company claims that the battery’s life span would be around 50,000 kilometers with the facility of fast charging up to 80% at the rate of 1 kilometer per minute.
The scooter offers a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour (almost 50 miles per hour) with a per full-charge range of 55 to 75 kilometers (34 to 46 miles) based on different driving modes. The current Ather 450 models offer only two driving modes — sport and ride. The company plans to introduce the eco mode soon in upcoming models to extend the range of scooters.
The scooter also sports an interactive dashboard that provides the rider with the usual ride information in addition to the estimated range available under different driving modes. The dashboard also doubles as a navigation panel. The features that make this electric scooter intelligent include mobile applications for Android and iOS platforms and over-the-air updates. The company also manufactures another model — the Ather 340 — with lower range and maximum speed.
The company has also set up charging stations across Bengaluru and Chennai and claims to have charging stations within a range of 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) of each other. The scooters can also be charged from the normal household electric sockets using a charging cable provided with the scooter.
The Ather 450 is available at a price of around US$1,800 which is significantly higher than the conventional gasoline-powered scooters available in India. The price includes a subsidy of around US$390 under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India Phase II scheme.
The news of investment in Ather Energy comes days after Ratan Tata invested an undisclosed amount in OLA Electric Mobility, a subsidiary of Uber’s competitor in India — Ola Cabs.
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