Ather Energy is a company that wants to change the face of the automobile industry in India, and they’re doing this by making a smart electric scooter that really packs a punch. The company was founded in 2013 by IIT Madras alumni Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain, and after 3 years of development their first product, the S340, is finally a reality.
The Ather S340 is no ordinary electric scooter. For one it generates almost as much torque (14 Nm) as a Yamaha R15 (15 Nm). It also comes with a monoshock suspension, regenerative braking and variable riding modes; Something that is usually available only on high-end bikes! The S340’s motor delivers 3KW or 5KW depending on the riding mode you select- Economy or Sport. Ather claims that even if you ride it at its top speed of 72 km/hr for extended periods, you’ll still get a healthy 60 km per charge (the general range is 100 km). And the fact that it takes the fast-charging tech just under an hour to restore 80 per cent of the battery’s juice, it seems like a pretty decent package to me.
Ather has also impressed by making the S340 completely from scratch, with 90 per cent of it being made in India (the lithium-ion battery being the only imported part). The extensive use of Aluminium in the scooter’s chassis and swingarm makes it weigh in at a paltry 90 kgs, which is lighter than a 100cc petrol-powered scooter.
But the craziest thing about the Ather S340 is undoubtedly the dash. The waterproof , glove-friendly touchscreen is a techie’s wet dream and it runs Linux OS to boot. The S340 also incorporates a revolutionary Vehicle Control Unit (Diagnostic system) that runs real time diagnostics which will help in predictive vehicular maintenance.
A 3G SIM card is embedded into the system, so the scooter is connected to the internet all the time. Individual rider profiles can be saved on the system, and sensors read the rider’s inputs over a period of time to offer a custom, personalised ride mode. The S340 also features charge and distance indicators and an in-built navigation system that also analyses the road condition on the chosen route. Ather has made the headlight smarter; it has a sensor unit that turns the light on automatically and adjusts brightness as required.
Ather will start production of the S340 in December and it will be sold exclusively through Ather’s website while ‘Experience centres’ around the city will have it on display. The firm will be setting up its own charging network across the country and the first cities to get the S340 will be Bangalore, Pune and Chennai. The official price of the Ather S340 will announced close to the market launch but some sources suggest that it will be under 1 lakh which is pretty reasonable considering it’s the first proper electric scooter that also happens to be very technologically advanced.
So what are your thoughts on the Ather S340? Is it the beginning of an era of electric two-wheelers in India? Let us know in the comments below.
This article is brought to you by Wheelstreet – India’s first bike rental platform.