Following the relaxation in lockdown across the country, Indian EV startup Ather Energy has restarted its operations in Chennai. Production at its facilities had resumed in Bengaluru a week ago.
The move comes after the government in both the cities announced a relaxation for two-wheeler & four-wheeler showrooms, service centres, and firms dealing in automobile spare parts.
Deliveries of its electric scooter Ather 450 have also begun in a limited capacity in both cities. The company has said it will scale up depending on resumption of operations of other ancillary partners, and permissions for interstate transport of vehicles.
The company has issued a statement saying all possible precautions are undertaken including sanitisation of the workspace, use of masks, gloves and sanitisers by the service professionals and staff, and practicing social distancing for a safe and smooth experience.
The R&D centre in Bengaluru and the experience centres in both cities have opened for a restricted number of employees and customers. The experience centres will be open for limited hours and will operate with limited staff onsite to comply with health and safety guidelines.
To address the economic impact of the lockdown, Ather will continue to innovate on its ownership models, like increasing the financing options available to consumers and introducing batteries on subscription. Ather was the first OEM to introduce lease plans for two-wheelers in India and a unique, zero hassle post purchase plan - Ather One - that limits cost of ownership and usage to ₹700 per month.
This year Ather will be available in 8 new cities - Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata - with their flagship model Ather 450X.
Ravneet Phokela, Chief Business Officer, Ather Energy said, "We are slowly opening up our retail stores and offices and are hoping that some semblance of normalcy will be achieved in the coming months. We have a lot of work ahead of us to expand pan-India over the coming months, and thankfully, the lockdown has not affected those timelines dramatically. We are now working on a slightly revised timeline of Q4 of 2020 to begin deliveries of the Ather 450X across India."
In January this year, Ather Energy had launched the Ather 450X in two interchangeable performance packs - Plus and Pro, in India at a starting price of ₹99,000 (ex showroom) if the monthly subscription plans are chosen. The price starts at ₹1.49 lakh (ex showroom) minus the monthly subscription fees.
The 450X, which is an upgrade on the existing 450 from the company, will lock horns with a number of e-scooters including the recently launched Bajaj Chetak electric and TVS' iQube.