Over the years, the problem of air pollution has reached a whole new level, especially in India. The nation is going through a critical situation, having a significant number of cities that are tagged as some of the most polluted cities in the world.
In order to cope with this issue, not only the government but many companies have stepped in. Whether you talk about cycles or electric vehicles, the nation is promoting all the latest technologies that have the capability to combat air pollution.
Furthermore, air pollution is not the only issue that is choking India —with millions of cars and transport vehicles, the nation is also facing some of the worst traffic. And as a solution to both, electric scooters have emerged and started gaining significant traction. Also, according to a recent report, the electric scooters in India is prophesied to reach $617.7 million by 2025.
Challenges In Setting Up Charging Stations
Even though electric scooters are doing wonders when it comes to fighting air pollution and beating traffic, there was a challenge that both the consumers and the companies are facing — charging station. Unlike gas stations, electric scooters initially didn’t have a significant number of charging stations.
Many scooters come with the feature that one can charge it at home, however, there are many other scooters that were powered by a completely different battery system and requires a charging station to charge the vehicle. And this is not an easy task to set one — there are a couple of challenges that might come up: the electricity mix, distribution networks, fast charging etc.
These are some of the most critical challenges that an electric scooter manufacturer is most likely to face and is definitely one of the prime reasons behind the low number to charging stations.
Ather Solving The Pain-Point Of Charging Stations
Founded in 2013, by IIT Madras alumni, Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain, Ather is one of the premium smart electric vehicle companies. Over the past couple of years, the company has started to hold the market. And recently in order to make charging Ather vehicles easier for the consumers, the company joined hands with Godrej Nature’s Basket.
The electric two-wheeler manufacturer signed an MoU with Godrej Nature’s Basket and will set up its charging points, AtherGrid in 35 locations that Godrej Nature’s Basket operates across the country — at various outlets of the grocery and fresh-food store. One of the first charging is already up and running at the Sadashivnagar outlet of Godrej Nature’s Basket in Bengaluru.
“For us, partnering with a brand like Godrej Nature’s Basket was a natural choice for AtherGrid. Their wide network and ease of accessibility allow us to offer to charge at locations that fit seamlessly into our consumers’ lives,” said Ravneet Phokela, Chief Business Officer. “We are excited about bringing newer locations for Bengaluru residents to charge their electric vehicles at and take the first step towards a pan-India expansion.”
Backed by founders of Flipkart, Tiger Global and Hero Motocorp, Ather has 31 charging points in Bengaluru, Karnataka — AtherGrid. Also, AtherGrid is India’s largest fast-charging network for two-wheelers. That is not all, Ather Energy has designed India’s first truly intelligent electric scooters – Ather 450 & Ather 340.
Talking about the scooters, the Ather 450 the company’s flagship scooter. The two-wheeler is designed with some of the most intelligent features. The Ather 450 has a 7” touchscreen dashboard that allows onboard navigation with options of alternate routes and saved locations. The two-wheeler can also be connected with a mobile app, Ather App that updates the owner about the vehicle’s health and charge status. Also, it has the over-the-air (OTA) updates functionality — the vehicle is capable of improving over time with continuous upgrades and the addition of new features and functionalities.
With over 47 patent applications, 127 trademarks and 122 design registrations to its name, Ather Energy aims to provide consumers with the best possible ownership experience. Ather Energy currently operates in Bengaluru and will be entering the Chennai market later this year, followed by other major cities across the country.
Ather seems to be doing its job better compared to other players in the market, however, the question that arises here is whether it will take a long-run or end after some time. Challenges are there without a doubt — electricity supply options to market operations to grid costs to policy choices, and to consumer behaviour.
If Ather can overcome all the challenges perfectly, the road ahead would be smoother compared to what it is now.
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Harshajit is a writer / blogger / vlogger. A passionate music lover whose talents range from dance to video making to cooking. Football runs in his blood. Like literally! He is also a self-proclaimed technician and likes repairing and fixing stuff. When he is not writing or making videos, you can find him reading books/blogs or watching videos that motivate him or teaches him new things.