Ather is planning to ramp up its production and produce up to one million electric scooters a year in India. The company plans to reach this production capacity over the next three years amid a rise in demand for electric vehicles and subsidies provided by the government in this domain. Also Read - Ola Electric beats Okinawa, Hero Electric to become top selling 2-wheeler EV company
Ather co-founder and chief executive officer Tarun Mehta, in an interview with Reuters, said that the company is raising funds to ramp up annual production and meet the growing demand for electric scooters in India. The company, which counts Tiger Global and Hero MotoCorp as its investors, has already raised around Rs1,200 crore since 2013 and now it is in the process of raising more. Also Read - Watch Video: Angry man in Maharashtra ties Ola electric scooter to donkey, parades it around town
Mehta also said that in addition to raising the company annual production capacity to one million scooters from 400,000 by the end of 2022, Ather also plans to install 5,000 fast chargers across India, increase its network to around 600 stores and develop new products. Also Read - Electric vehicles to provide opportunities worth Rs 3 lakh crore in India: CRISIL
Notably, while Mehta didn’t disclose the amount it is planning to raise, reports have hinted Ather is looking for around $133 million of which it has already raised $56 million from Hero.
The change in plans come as the electric vehicle market is growing in India rapidly with the sales of electric scooters increasing more than five times in 2021 alone. Furthermore, the ever increasing fuel prices have forced users to look for more sustainable alternatives. What has helped bolster this trend further is government’s as a part of which it is offering subsidies and tax relies on the purchase of EVs in India. This not only includes exemption of fees for registering or re-registering electric vehicles and increasing the subsidy on electric bikes and electric scooters to up to 40%. Additionally, various states in India including Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Bihar, and Odisha have introduced their own subsidies on the purchase of EVs.
“The demand is massive, and the Indian market has been supply constrained,” he said.
At the moment, Ather manufactures about 5,000 electric scooters a month. In 2022, the company plans to increase its production capacity to 20,000 scooters a month. Mehta told Reuters that his longer term vision is to invest in businesses that help increase the use of clean energy.