Hero MotoCorp-backed Ather Energy will continue to focus on electric scooters but aims to introduce a premium electric motorcycle in the next five years.
Ather Energy, a Bengaluru-based startup founded in 2013, began selling its first product, the Ather 450, in July 2018. The electric scooter was originally retailed only in Bengaluru.
With the new 450X, the startup will be expanding its base to 10 cities in 2020. It aims to further increase it to 24 by 2022.
Electric motorcycles in India has been a very niche concept. Rahul Sharma’s Revolt is the first true electric motorcycle to go on sale in India. His startup retails the RV 400 and RV 300. A Pune-based startup, Tork Motors, is also expected to launch its first electric motorcycle soon.
Speaking to AutoStory, Ravneet Phokela, Chief Business Officer of Ather Energy, said,
“Motorcycles are the next logical step for us. We are building performing scooters now and that is a step towards performance motorcycles. We will do it, but right now, we are focussing on scaling our electric scooter business. We will make a motorcycle possibly in the next three to five years.”
Ather Energy wants to consolidate its market position in the electric scooter market. It is one of the most recognised names in the market despite being operational only in two cities. The startup’s product is already seen as a benchmark even by seasoned two-wheeler manufacturers.
It is also open to making a more affordable scooter if there is a demand for the same.
“Building new variants is very easy because the basic platform will be the same. Normally, a product development cycle takes four to five years for a company. For us, it is just 18 to 24 months,” added Ravneet.
Ather Energy will also be slowly phasing out the original Ather 450 with the new 450X. The latter is not just more affordable and powerful but also comes with a longer range.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)
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