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Ather Energy plans to increase $100 million to fuel expansion

FE Bureau
Ather Energy co-founder and CEO Tarun Mehta

Ather Energy, the Hero MotoCorp and Tiger Global-backed electric two-wheeler manufacturer, has drawn up a strategic plan to become a 1-million unit per annum player by 2023. As part of this strategy, the company is planning to raise $75 million to $100 million to set up a new plant in one of the southern states.

The company currently produces 25,000 units per annum. It has also entered into leasing of scooters, a first-of-its-kind initiative by an Indian two-wheeler company, to augment growth.

Announcing the company's entry into Chennai after Bengaluru here on Tuesday, Ather Energy co-founder and CEO Tarun Mehta said: "We are bullish on the growth prospects of electric two-wheelers in India. We have been witnessing encouraging response to our products in Bengaluru and we equally see Chennai as the next big destination of our products. We are looking at expanding our operations to Hyderabad in the next few months and thereafter to 30-odd cities over the next four years."

"We have set ambitious expansion plans to produce 1 million electric two-wheelers annually by 2023 from the current level of 25,000 units. We are in talks with the state governments of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to set up a bigger manufacturing plant to achieve our desired target. We will finalise the same in the next four-five months," Mehta added.

To a specific query, Mehta told FE: "We have raised $95 million over a period of time from companies such as Hero MotoCorp, Tiger Global and the Bansals of Flipkart. We are looking at raising $75 million to $100 million more over a few months for our expansion plans, including setting up of a new manufacturing plant. The plant will also house battery plant as well R&D centre to meet future requirements."

According to Mehta, "As part of this strategy, the company will introduce more products, also at the lower levels, to target the price-conscious customers in India. The company will expand its faster charging points from 50 (both in Bengaluru and Chennai) to 6,500 by 2023 across 30 major cities in India. In addition to this, the company will set up an experience store in these cities for the customers to understand/educate A to Z of Ather products," he said.

To augment the growth further and enable customers access to its products, the company has introduced leasing. With a refundable deposit of Rs 75,000 and with a monthly subscription amount of Rs 2,517, a customer can take home Ather 450.

The monthly subscription amount includes the cost of complete maintenance, insurance, connectivity and software upgrades, commitment as low as 12 months and fully refundable deposit.

According to Mehta, Ather Energy will also look into entering the overseas markets in the next two years as demand for quality products like Ather 450 is huge. "We are planning to enter Latin America, Europe, South East Asia (GCC) nations with specific products as globally no one is building their base. Except Europe, regulations in most of Latin America and SEA nations are more or less similar to that of India, and hence it is easy for us to penetrate these countries," he added.