The founders of Flipkart, Sachin and Binny Bansal have invested Rs. 6.19 crore in Ather Energy, a start up that plans to manufacture electric vehicles, mainly two wheelers for now. The company is housed at the IIT Madras Research Park and has been founded by the alumni of the prestigious institution. Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain are the two Ex IIT Madras engineers who have founded Ather Energy. These engineers now have a team of 15 who are working towards high tech EVs.
The team has built a prototype of an electric vehicle that looks stylish and that has performance that can beat many 100cc four stroke motorcycles. This electric two wheeler comes with a 15 kg lithion ion battery. 0-60 Kmph is achieved in 11 seconds, which is faster than many 100cc four stroke commuter bikes. Top speed of the prototype is 75 Kmph. The lithium ion battery is claimed to last for 50,000 Kms. The range of the EV prototype from Ather Energy has not been specified.
Ather Energy is concentrating on reducing the weight of the bike so that the unsprung mass is minimum. This will result in more range and better performance. The E bike may be launched next year and the pricing will be premium. The founders of Ather say that they want to aim at the premium scooters by pricing their E Bike at about Rs. 85,000. The looks of the E Bike from Ather has been designed to attract younger buyers who will be more open to new ideas like electric powered two wheelers.
Since the government of India is planning to give out big subsidies to electric and hybrid vehicle manufacturers, the price of the E Bike from Ather Energy can become competitive. Let’s hope that this promising start up from IIT Madras challenges companies like Hero Electric and Yo Bykes.