Electric vehicles (EVs) are the in-thing today. Everybody wants to own an electric vehicle. Rising pollution levels and fluctuating fuel prices have made owning an EV cool and sensible. However, EVs pose different engineering challenges in comparison to regular vehicles. An Indian company has risen up up to take this challenge head-on. Even more impressive is that it is making two-wheeled EVs. This company is called Ather Energy and it has made two electric scooters. These are called Ather 340 and Ather 450. They have been priced at Rs 1.10 lakh and Rs 1.25 lakh (all prices on-road), respectively. Both scooters are on sale in Bengaluru for now (a bummer!). Why are these scooters on sale in only one Indian city? Are they even worth buying? How would users charge them away from home/office?
|Specifications||Ather 340||Ather 450|
|Price||Rs 1.10 lakh (on-road)||Rs 1.25 lakh (on-road)|
|Engine||1.92kWh battery with Brush Less DC motor||2.4kWh battery with Brush Less DC motor|
|Transmission||Single-speed automatic||Single-speed automatic|
|Front Suspension||Telescopic fork||Telescopic fork|
|Rear Suspension||Progressive monoshock||Progressive monoshock|
|Front Brake||200mm disc with three-piston caliber, combined braking and regenerative braking||200mm disc with three-piston caliber, combined braking and regenerative braking|
|Rear Brake||190mm disc with single piston caliber, combined braking and regenerative braking||190mm disc with single piston caliber, combined braking and regenerative braking|
|Mileage||60km on a single full charge||75km on a single full charge|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||N/A (it’s an EV, after all!)||N/A (it’s an EV variant only)|
What’s new about the Ather 340 and Ather 450?
Let’s talk about the mechanical bits shared by both scooters first. The Ather 340 and Ather 450 are powered by a 51.1V battery rated at 1.92kWh and 2.4kWh, respectively. This battery is IP67-certified, has an aluminium alloy case, and powers a Brush Less DC motor (BLDC motor). This motor is IP66-certified while its controller carries an IP65 rating. In the Ather 340, the BLDC motor makes around 4HP power at all times, peaking at 6HP. In the Ather 450, the same motor makes around 4.5HP power, reaching a peak of 7.3HP. Torque figures for both scooters are similar with Ather 340 generating 20NM torque while the Ather 450 making 20.5Nm torque.
Both scooters use a belt-driven single-speed gearbox. The Ather 340 can go from o-40kmph in 5.1 seconds, while the Ather 450 takes just 3.9 seconds. The Ather 340 can reach a top speed of 60kmph while the Ather 450 can go as fast as 70kmph. The Ather 340 can go up to 60km on a single full charge while the Ather 450 can go up to 70km. As per ARAI estimates, the Ather 340 can go 86km on a single full charge while the Ather 450 can go 107km.
Both scooters use a telescopic fork up front and a centrally-mounted progressive monoshock at the rear. They use an aluminium and steel chassis and ride on 12-inch alloy wheels at both ends. Braking duties on both scooters are handled by a single 200mm disc with three-piston caliper (front) and 190mm disc with single piston caliper (rear). Both get combined braking system (inexpensive form of ABS), and regenerative braking.
Both scooters measure 1800mm in length, 700mm in width, and 1250mm in height with wheelbase spanning 1278mm. Both weigh 118kg and can wade through up to 300mm water. With the home charger, either scooter can be charged from 0-80 per cent in 160 minutes while topping the batteries up to 100 per cent will take 258 minutes. The fast charger will charge either scooter’s battery at a rate of 1km/minute. Additionally, the vehicle carries a 2-year/30,000km warranty while the battery carries a 3-year/unlimited km warranty.
The Ather 340 and Ather 450 carry a 7.0-inch capacitive touchscreen LCD dashboard with 5:3 aspect ratio and IP65 certification for water and dust resistance. All lights on the scooters are LED type. The turn indicators are of self-cancelling variety and the scooters also get a Reverse mode. The scooters can connect to a user’s phone via a mobile app, which offers features like onboard navigation and live location-tracking.
The Ather 340 and Ather 450 sports some clever tech onboard. One of these features is remote monitoring of the scooter’s health and charge state. The most important feature is that it can receive Over The Air (OTA) updates. This way, Ather Energy can both fine-tune the scooters’ performance and add new functionalities as well.
The scooters carry a neat design that make them look like regular two-wheelers. The devil is, however, in the details. The short front mudguard gives these scooters an aggressive look. The right side is clean but the left side has the side stand integrated into the scooters’ body. Not be missed are split grab rails, a rear tyre-hugger, and neon-green monoshock. Speaking of neon green, the wheel pinstriping is also done in the same colour.
Are the Ather 340 and Ather 450 worth consideration?
For those looking for a new two-wheeler and are in Bengaluru, the Ather 340 and Ather 450 make for great considerations. For starters, users will not have to pay exorbitant money for refuelling. In a scooter like Activa 5G (no hate for Activa, it is a great scooter), users have to spend easily up to Rs 300 per week. Over a course of 52 weeks, that comes down to about Rs 15,600.
Early-bird customers are being offered 1 year of Ather One plan for free. This plan provides customers with free home and public charging, regular maintenance of scooters (including consumables and breakdowns), and unlimited data services for the dashboard. As such. the pricing of the plan starts at Rs 700 (exclusive of GST) per month, which comes out to Rs 8,400 for a year (without GST, and you can pay this one-time too), saving users around Rs 7,200 per year in fuel bills alone. Users can also opt for quarterly plan costing Rs 2,200 (exclusive of GST).
The Ather 340 and Ather 450 do pack some neat tricks too. The battery pack of the scooters has been placed in the floorboard. This has helped the scooters achieve a 51:49 (front:rear) weight balance. The app allows users to schedule a service for the scooters wherein their vehicles will be picked up and delivered at their doorsteps.
Early-bird customers will get a charging cable with Ather 340 and a Home Charger with Ather 450. Moreover, their installations at owners’ place of choice will also be done free of cost. In case owners are skeptical about over-night charging of their scooters, the vehicles have an auto cut-off function built in to prevent overcharging.
These are just some of the reasons to just consider these scooters. However, for the discerning buyers, there is good news. Ather Energy plans to expand its reach to 12 cities by 2020. This means first the charging stations will come up and then scooters will be made available. In short, Ather Energy wants to sell the entire experience, not just the vehicles. If that still does not make the Ather 340 and Ather 450 worth consideration, nothing else can.
Ather 340 and Ather 450 Launch – Synopsis
- Ather 340 priced at Rs 1.10 lakh; Ather 450 costs Rs 1.25 lakh (all prices on-road)
- Both scooters share their 51.1V battery with differences in usable capacity
- Usable capacity of Ather 340 and Ather 450 battery is 1.92kWh and 2.4kWh, respectively
- Battery mounted in the floorboard, helping with 51:49 weight distribution
- Peak power of Ather 340 is 6HP; 7.3Hp peak power for Ather 450
- Peak torque of Ather 340 is 20Nm while that for Ather 450 is 20.5Nm
- Single-speed automatic gearbox in use on either scooter
- 0-40kmph times – Ather 340: 5.1 seconds and; Ather 450: 3.9 seconds
- Top speed of Ather 340 is 70kmph; 80kmph top speed for Ather 450
- Ather 340 range – 60km (86km per ARAI); Ather 450 range – 75km (107km per ARAI)
- Underpinned by aluminium-steel hybrid chassis
- Telescopic fork up front and a monoshock at the rear
- Disc brakes on both ends with combined braking and regenerative braking
- Charge times between 160 minutes and 258 minutes; fast charge speed of 1km/minute
- Touchscreen dashboard measures 7 inches and is IP65-certified
- Scooters’ performance can be fine-tuned with OTA updates
- OTA updates can add new functionalities to the vehicles
- Smartphone app provides features like onboard navigation and live location tracking
- LED lighting all around
- Reverse mode helps park the scooters in tight spots
- Rs 700 (exlusive of GST) pricing for Ather One plan offering services like maintenance, charging, and roadside assistance
- Early buyers get freebies like 1-year Ather One subscription, home charger with Ather 450, and charging cable with Ather 340
Thanks Autocar India for a great story. Keep it up!