Bad product with few thousand customers is not success: Ather's dig at rivals
“Bad product and even a few thousand people bought it, that does not make a successful company." That is how Tarun Mehta, Founder and CEO at Ather Energy electric two-wheeler manufacturer defined what companies in EV business should be not be looking at when trying to succeed. Speaking at the Mint Mobility Conclave 2022, Mehta said one needs to be ‘super patient’ while referring to some of its rival EV makers, which include the likes of Ola Electric, Okinawa Autotech among others.
The EV two-wheeler space is currently dominated by companies like Hero Electric, Ola Electric, Okinawa Autotech contributing huge number of units every month in terms of sales. Ather Energy, the Bengaluru-based EV maker, does not believe in following others to try to be successful. Mehta said, “If you let the market or competition dictate your product roadmap, you are not a product company." Ola Electric, which has been the latest entrant in the EV two-wheeler segment, has leapfrogged ahead of Ather Energy in terms of sales in less than a year.
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"Once you have a bad product and even a few thousand people bought it, that does not make a successful company," said Mehta, while highlighting the importance of research and development phase of any model. “We do get a lot of questions on why are we not building bikes, trucks, or cars. I would love to build all that, but the company needs to focus. We need to sell like 3-4 million scooters to really happy customers," he added.
Earlier this month, Ather Energy launched the new generation 450X Gen 3 electric scooter at a starting at ₹1.39 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), with more range than its predecessor. It comes with a 3.7 kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a capacity of 74 Ah. This is a significant update over the last generation's 2.9 kWh which is known to offer a single charge range of 116 km. The maximum range from this scooter as per Indian Drive Cycle has been rated at 146 km. It rivals other high-speed scooters in the segment such as the TVS iQube 2022 and Ola S1 Pro.