The Hosur, Tamil Nadu-based electric vehicle maker currently has an installed capacity of just over 1 lakh per year (9,200 units per month), but is deploying a much smaller number. It only has one model, the Ather 450X, priced at Rs 1.5 lakh, nearly double the price of a gasoline scooter.
“Currently, we can deploy 9,200 units per month from the Hosur plant that we commissioned in February. Considering the increase in demand / demands now, we plan to triple our capacity … by the end of next fiscal year, ”Tarun Mehta, co-founder and CEO of Ather Energy, said To .
The Hosur factory has enough land to increase its capacity to 5 lakh units per year.
The company expects to reach full capacity of the first phase by this fiscal year and therefore plans to triple the same capacity by the end of fiscal 23. The first phase covers an area of 1.2 lakh square feet, and the plan is to expand it to 4 lakh square feet by the end of FY23 and triple production, Mehta explained.
Ather has so far invested Rs 130 crore in the factory and Rs 650 crore since the company started in 2013. It started with a small factory in the town of Bengaluru from where he had deployed the first Ather model. 450 in 2018, which is no longer in production however.
The electric two-wheeler industry is a crowded lot with nearly 20 players, who had collectively sold a negligible 25,600 units in 2020, down almost 6% from 2019.
With sales volume of just over 8,100 units, Hero Electric (of HeroMoto Corp) led the market in 2020, followed by Okinawa with around 5,600 units and Ampere with volume of just over 4 400 units, based on industry data.
While Mehta declined to share sales figures, according to industry data, Ather only sold 2,972 units in 2020, up 30% from 2019, still making it the fourth largest player. in industry volume.
Mehta said the Hosur plant also has a lithium-ion battery unit for which it has partnered with Chennai-based Sanmina for electronic components. Its other suppliers include MRF for tires and Brembo Bybre for brakes.
Regarding why he only has one model, Mehta said the company is working on new models but declined to share details.
Ather has experience centers and deliveries in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, Coimbatore and Kochi. This month it will start deliveries to Trichy, Mysore, Hubli and Delhi.
The number of delivery centers will reach 27 by the end of this year, he said.
In all of these towns it has experience centers and public charging stations (where anyone can charge scooters / bikes for free as the cost of electricity is paid by Ather).
Ather will install around 400 public charging stations by the end of December, up from more than 130 now, he added. As to whether Ather will remain a scooter-only player, he said it will for at least the next two or three years.
Mehta owns less than 20% of the company he co-founded in 2013 with his teammate IIT Madras Swapnil Jain. HeroMoto Corp with an investment of Rs 400 crore is the biggest investor, followed by the founders of Flipkart Sachin and Binny Bansal. Other investors include global private equity players Tiger Global and InnoVen Capital.
It launched the first Ather 450 scooter in 2018, followed by the now flagship Ather 450X in 2020.