Ather Energy announced that it has received a fresh round of funding. The new funding in Ather Energy was made by the country’s largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp. Ather has received Rs 180 crore cash investment while Hero in exchange has picked 26-30 per cent stake in the company. It is the third round of funding for Ather Energy after Tiger Global and Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal in their personal capacity. This fresh investment will be a good boost for Ather Energy in developing the S340 which the company claims is India’s first smart, electric scooter.
Commenting on this investment, Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Hero MotoCorp said “As the market leader and a global automotive major, Hero takes the lead in many areas that benefit the environment, customer and industry.
Hero MotoCorp intends to enhance its participation in the EV space by pursuing its internal EV program in addition to partnering with Ather. Ather is the best start-up in the two-wheeler EV space and we firmly believe that they are on the way to become one of the leaders in India, potentially even globally. We are excited to be a strategic investor and see this as an important step in building the necessary ecosystem needed to support commercialisation of EVs in the country.”
Ather Energy officials also said that the total deal between Hero and themselves is for Rs 205 crore out of which Rs 180 crore were transferred immediately. The Ather Energy brand has been founded by ex-IITians Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain, has been developing the indigenous scooter since mid-2013.The ‘S340’ stands for ‘scooter,’ ‘3kW electric motor,’ and ’40 amp-hour battery pack.’ The S340 scooter is powered by a IP67-rated lithium-ion battery pack, which has a claimed life of 50,000km. Although the scooter’s size is similar to that of any 100cc scooter in the market, it is 20% lighter than the other scooters in the market.
The makers have focused on weight reduction, thereby optimising the weight to improve its efficiency. The electric scooter has a top speed of 72kmph and a range of 60km on full charge. Ather claims that the S340 can be fully charged in just 1.5 hours. The vehicle achieves an 80% charge in 50 minutes in fast charging mode and can be charged from any 5A normal socket in normal mode. Another interesting feature is the digital dashboard that displays GPS, and an indicator showing how much distance can be travelled on remaining charge while the Vehicle Control Unit (diagnostic system) that constantly monitors the rider’s behaviour.