Ather Energy’s second factory in Tamil Nadu could build its first motorcycle

Ather Energy yesterday said it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Tamil Nadu for a 400,000 sq ft electric vehicle manufacturing facility at the Investment and Skill Development Conclave in Chennai. The plant will be located in Hosur. Ather’s current facility in Bengaluru has a production capacity of about 35,000 units.

Ather said it would build “Li-Ion batteries and Electric Vehicles” at the new site but did not elaborate. Ravneet Phokela, Chief Business Officer at Ather Energy has said in an interview last month that a motorcycle is on the list of to-do items for the company and one could expect it in three to four years. This model is likely to made at the new plant to challenge offerings from Revolt, Ultraviolette, Orxa, Tork and Royal Enfield.

Ather 450 image
The factory in Tamil Nadu could build Ather’s low-priced scooter that is in development as well as the proposed motorcycle that is about 3 years away.

Prior to the motorcycle, Ather will build a second smaller scooter that will slot below the Ather 450 (priced at INR 1.14 lakh in Bengaluru) to challenge the Bajaj Chetak. The new model is in development and will roll out within 18 months with a range of about 75 km for a charge. The company is believed to have an ambitious volume target for the economy electric scooter and would require the extra capacity to meet predicted demand as it would be priced closer to the Honda Activa and TVS Jupiter, India’s largest selling scooters.

Ather is looking to expand sales to 30 cities in the coming years. Currently it sells the 450 only in Bengaluru and Chennai. Cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune and Delhi are likely to be the next regional markets which will either get brand experience stores or dealerships along with a fast-charging network. The company is said to be working to install a charging station every 2 km in the cities that it sells vehicles to.

Image of Arc Vehicles’ Vector used as display image for representation.