Amaan AhmedNov 29, 2021 15:47:53 IST
Witnessing remarkable growth in sales over the last five months, Ather Energy has today announced it will set up a second plant in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, to scale up production and meet surging demand for the Ather 450 Plus and Ather 450X electric scooters. The second Ather plant, which will be in the vicinity of the facility that went live earlier in 2021, will have a total annual production capacity of 280,000 electric scooters, which will give Ather Energy a cumulative annual production capacity of 400,000 units – that’s nearly four times the start-up’s current production capacity of 120,000 units.
The second Ather plant is expected to go live in 2022, and the company says it has committed an investment of Rs 650 crore towards ‘enhancing operational efficiency and production capacity’. In its statement, Ather also says the new facility will focus on lithium-ion battery manufacturing. Tech2 has reached out to Ather Energy for specific inputs on the plant itself, and we’ll update this story when we have them.
This announcement comes at a time when all electric two-wheeler manufacturers in the country are witnessing overwhelming demand for their products post the revision of FAME-II subsidy for electric two-wheelers and the rollout of state-specific EV subsidies. In its statement, Ather Energy says sales have grown by 20 percent every month since November 2020, and that bookings for the 450 Plus and 450X have grown four-fold between April and October this year. In fact, Ather Energy had its best month yet in terms of sales in October, when it sold close to 2,800 units, according to analytics firm JMK Research; a 12-fold increase over its figures in October 2020.
On 17 November, Ather Energy CEO Tarun Mehta had tweeted an image of the first Hosur facility, noting how the plant had gone from hosting 600-700 scooters to having zero holding inventory.
This place used to have 600-700 scooters. Now there’s 0 holding inventory! pic.twitter.com/VQdL0o5ZSx
— Tarun Mehta (@tarunsmehta) November 17, 2021
Commenting on the second plant, Mehta said the current facility is already working at full capacity in the face of heightened demand, and that next year, Ather will be India’s leading maker of EVs.
“The EV demand has been shooting up across the country, and customers are coming in expecting electric scooters to wow them. This customer expectation is why our 450 series of electric scooters – the 450X and 450 Plus is seeing massive demand as it is the best electric scooter in the country today. Our experience centres are scaling up rapidly, and our retail footprint is set to grow by six times in the coming quarters. So, within just ten months of opening our current facility, we find ourselves already operating at full capacity. We are commissioning the second plant to be ready for 2022. With this capacity expansion, Ather is well on its way to becoming the country’s largest EV producer by next year”, said Mehta.
Having only been present in Bengaluru initially, Ather Energy is today present in 23 cities across India, and plans to set up a total of 150 experience centres in 100 cities by March 2023. Its Ather Grid fast-charging network comprises of over 200 charging points across the country at present, and Ather is already collaborating with Hero MotoCorp to help India’s leading two-wheeler manufacturer incorporate its fast-charging system into Hero’s upcoming electric two-wheelers.
Ather isn’t the only player talking about producing electric two-wheelers at a large scale – Hero Electric has announced it will ramp up operations to have an annual production capacity of five lakh units, while Ola Electric has previously revealed it will have a capacity of ten lakh units in Phase 1 of its Futurefactory setup.