Ather Energy has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Tamil Nadu to set up a two-wheeled electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility. The 400,000 square feet factory will be located at Hosur.
In its statement, the EV maker said that it has plans to set up fast-charging infrastructure in Bengaluru where it is based, and in Chennai. Ather added that it has plans to expand its products and services to 30 more cities over the next few years.
Ather noted the government’s push for electric two-wheelers with its FAME policy, GST reductions, and tax benefits for loans on EVs as key factors for announcing the manufacturing facility.
“Tamil Nadu has been a hub for automobile manufacturing, and they have been working closely with us in their effort to build an EV ecosystem,” said Ather Energy Chief Executive Officer Tarun Mehta.
The company says it has 38 charging points in Bengaluru and 14 points in Chennai, ten of which are fast charging points. Ather Energy plans to add more of these charging stations over the coming months as it prepares to launch in Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi, and Mumbai in the next year.
“A manufacturing facility at Hosur was an ideal choice considering it is close to our R&D facility in Bengaluru and most of the existing and potential future supply base operating in the region,” Mehta added.
The lack of battery charging infrastructure in the country has been a pain-point hindering the adoption of electric vehicles. Central and state agencies have been pushing for the development of a broader charging network to facilitate wider adoption of electric mobility.
Earlier this year, the Department of Heavy Industry invited proposals for deploying electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the country’s big and smart cities under the government’s FAME program. The cities have been categorized as million-plus cities, smart cities, satellite towns connected to metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Ahmedabad.
Ather Energy previously raised $51 million in its latest round of funding, led by Flipkart’s co-founder Sachin Bansal’s investment of $32 million. Ather Energy was one of the earliest start-up investments of Sachin Bansal when he invested $0.5 million in the firm as an angel investor in 2014, according to a release.
Earlier it was reported by Mercom that Ather Energy’s, flagship intelligent scooter, Ather450, is now FAME II compliant and will receive an increased subsidy of ₹27,000 ($387).
Image credit: Ather Energy
Nithin is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Reuters News, he has covered oil, metals and agricultural commodity markets across global markets. He has also covered refinery and pipeline explosions, oil and gas leaks, Atlantic region hurricane developments, and other natural disasters. Nithin holds a Masters Degree in Applied Economics from Christ University, Bangalore and a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai.