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    Electric Scooter Refund – Ather, Ola, TVS, Hero To Repay Overcharged Customers

    Ather Electric ScooterFAME II Policy and EV Manufacturers: India’s Auto Giants to refund EV Overcharges, Ola, TVS, Ather, and Hero Take Responsibility
    India’s FAME II policy was established to promote the adoption of electric vehicles in the country. Under the policy, eligible electric vehicles were provided with benefits and subsidies to incentivize the purchase and use of EVs.
    However, the policy set a limit on the retail price of electric two-wheelers that could qualify for these benefits. Two-wheelers priced above INR 1.50 lakh per unit were excluded from receiving these benefits to ensure that the programme’s benefits are targeted towards affordable EVs accessible to a larger section of society.
    Manufacturers, however, found ways to sidestep this caveat by selling electric scooters within the price range and selling necessary chargers and proprietary software separately. To address this, the Ministry of Heavy Industries stopped subsidies to all manufacturers that didn’t comply with the FAME II guidelines. In response, some EV manufacturers have taken corrective steps to repay customers who have been overcharged.
    Ola Electric, TVS Motor, Ather Energy, and Hero MotoCorp Set Example with Refunds
    Ola Electric has announced a refund of INR 130 crore to S1 Pro customers who purchased the vehicle before March 30, 2023. Similarly, TVS Motor has agreed to refund customers who paid more than the threshold limit set by FAME II. The total refund cost for the company is estimated to be less than INR 20 crore, and it will be paid to customers who bought the TVS iQube S model between May 2022 to March 2023. An ET AUTO report pegs the total refund amount at Rs 15.61 crore. This will be repaid to 87k customers. Hero MotoCorp will refund 1,100 Vida V1 Plus and V1 Pro customers who purchased the vehicle before March 2023.

    Official statement.
    — Ather Energy (@atherenergy) May 4, 2023

    Ather’s dues stand at INR 140 crore to be repaid to 95,000 customers who purchased the Ather 450x e2W until April 12, 2023. Additionally, a further recovery of INR 25 crore will be made from Ather on account of reduced battery capacity scooters for those who didn’t buy upgraded software. With these corrective steps, EV manufacturers aim to rebuild trust with their customers and promote the adoption of electric vehicles in India.

    Important Update.
    — Ola Electric (@OlaElectric) May 4, 2023

    TVS Motor said – “TVS Motor is fully committed to the Government of India’s vision to promote electric mobility and fully support the Government of India’s initiative to enable faster adoption of electric mobility, development of electric vehicle eco-system and in spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat, all the electric development has happened in house. Additionally, as a responsible corporate, TVS Motor has fully complied with all government regulations specified under FAME. Further towards alleviating ambiguity and ensuring a clear policy direction, TVS Motor will offer a goodwill benefit scheme for its customers who have paid over and above the threshold limit fixed by FAME. The overall cost impact to TVS Motor Company is less than 20 crores.”
    EV Manufacturers Take Corrective Steps to Repay Customers for Overcharging
    The refund announcements by EV manufacturers are significant steps towards promoting customer trust and transparency in the EV ecosystem. This move by manufacturers will help restore consumer confidence in the EV industry and encourage wider adoption of electric vehicles.
    The FAME II policy’s guidelines are designed to make EVs more accessible to a larger section of society by targeting benefits towards affordable electric two-wheelers. Manufacturers must comply with these guidelines to qualify for benefits and subsidies, which will further promote the adoption of EVs in India. The corrective measures taken by EV manufacturers also highlight the importance of regulatory oversight and enforcement to promote a fair and transparent market for EVs.
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    Ather Mandating Dot Charger? Portable Charger To Cost Extra?

    Ather Dot Charger
    Ather Dot charger and Portable charger have their own unique benefits, which is why customers need to have the option to choose
    Ather 450X electric scooter can be charged in a home environment or via the Ather Grid charging network. The Grid is accessible for only the top-spec Ather 450X Pro Pack variant. For home charging, the options available are the wall-mounted Dot charger and the easy-to-carry Portable charger.
    However, as per inputs provided by a user, Ather now seems to be mandating the Dot charger with the scooter. Earlier, buyers had the option to choose between Dot charger and Portable charger at the time of making the payment. Now, it appears that Dot charger is part of standard equipment. Anyone who needs the Portable charger will have to pay extra.
    Different needs, different chargers
    Both Dot charger and Portable charger have their unique advantages. Dot charger seems more hassle free, as one does not need to carry the charger with them or worry about forgetting it or misplacing it.
    The Dot charger comes with all the required installation accessories. It can be installed by Ather on request or by any local electrician. Once installed, the Dot charger is like having a fuel pump installed right inside your home.
    Ather Portable Charger
    However, Dot charger won’t be suitable for folks who have varying commuting schedule. This is especially true in case there aren’t enough Ather Grid stations in the city. Also, 450X base-spec owners will anyways won’t have access to the Grid. Another limitation of Dot charger is that it will work with only the owner’s scooter. It will not work with any other Ather scooter. But users have the option to approach Ather customer helpline and request to link the charger with the scooter ID.
    Ather Portable charger seems more convenient, as it works just like a laptop charger. Any 5A socket can work for Ather Portable charger. It can be easily carried anywhere under the seat. Portable charger also makes sense for folks who switch houses and cities quite often. The Portable charger is not linked to any specific scooter ID and can be used to charge any Ather scooter.
    Users may end up with 2 chargers
    If the Dot charger is part of standard equipment, users wanting the Portable charger will end up with two chargers for their Ather scooter. They will also need to pay extra to get the Portable charger. This will result in wastage of resources.
    It remains to be seen how Ather responds to feedback from users. If there’s sizeable pushback, it is possible that Ather may bring back the option to choose between the Dot charger and the Portable charger. Clearly, there’s no technical or safety issue with the Portable charger, as it is available at additional price. Mandating Dot charger may not impact Ather scooter sales, but it seems a bit unsettling for folks who prefer a portable charger. More

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    Ather 450X New Base Variant Launched – 450 Plus Discontinued

    With the new affordable variant, Ather 450X will have improved competencies against rivals like TVS iQube S and Ola S1Ather Electric Scooter ProductionTo fulfil the needs of folks who may be looking for a no-frills electric scooter, Ather Energy has introduced a new base-spec variant of 450X. In Delhi where state subsidy is among the highest, Ather 450X new base variant is priced at Rs 98,079. Ather 450X with ProPack will cost Rs 1,28,443. These prices are around 10k to 15k lower in comparison to earlier prices of Ather electric scooters.Ather has also simplified its portfolio by discontinuing the 450 Plus variant. Customers can now choose either the standard 450X or the top-spec 450X ProPack. Both variants have the same hardware, but there are differences in terms of features, type of charger and warranty.Ather 450X New Prices April 2023Ather 450X new base variant features Vs Pro PackTo achieve an affordable price point, a significant number of advanced features are no longer available with the new base variant of Ather 450X. While the 7-inch touchscreen display is there, it comes in greyscale format. In comparison, top-spec 450X ProPack variant has a multi-colour display.450X base variant misses out on all of the connectivity features such as smartphone pairing, OTA updates, onboard maps and navigation, document storage, ride statistics, remote location tracking, remote charge monitoring, push location from Ather app and multi-stop trip planner.Ather 450x vs 450x Pro PackThere is no Bluetooth, 4G LTE Cat-4 /WCDMA / EDGE, music & calls, guide-me-home light, auto indicator off and time-based adaptive screen brightness and themes. Tyre pressure monitoring system, park assist and hill assist features are also not available with the new base variant of 450X. As compared to ride modes of Eco, Ride, Sports and Warp available with ProPack variant, the base variant gets a single default ride mode. Performance is comparable with Ride mode of ProPack variant.Another major difference is in charging time. While both variants have the same battery pack, the base variant comes with a slow charger. For a full charge, the new base variant will take 15 hours and 20 minutes. ProPack variant can achieve full charge in 5 hours 40 minutes.Another issue that users of base 450X will have to face is lack of access to Ather’s fast-charging network. This seems quite unfair, as it’s essentially denying users a visit to the fuel station. Moreover, base 450X users won’t have the option to upgrade to ProPack at a later date. All these factors are likely to nudge people into buying the ProPack version.In terms of warranty, both variants have 3 years/30,000 km cover for the vehicle and charger. However, for the battery, the warranty is 3 years/30,000 kms for base variant and 5 years/60,000 kms for ProPack variant of Ather 450X.Ather 450X new base variant specsMuch of the hardware specifications are the same for both base variant and ProPack variant of Ather 450X. Installed battery capacity is 3.7 kWh, with peak power output of 6.4 kW and max torque of 26 Nm. Top-speed is 90 kmph and 0 to 40 kmph is achieved in 3.3 seconds. Range of 146 km is same for both variants. Gradeability is 20 degrees. Other hardware like lighting setup, wheels, braking system, suspension, etc. are same for both variants. More

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    Ather Sales Zoom In March 2023 – Registers 353% YoY Growth

    Ather is working proactively to expand its retail footprint and fast-charging network across the countrySaurabh Joshi shares photo of taking Ather electric scooter delivery for his family.FY 2022-23 has been a good year for the automotive industry in India, as most OEMs have registered strong growth. In two-wheeler space, most ICE-based and EV manufacturers have been witnessing robust sales. India automotive space is growing even when geo-political and economic uncertainties continue to persist at the global level.In electric two-wheeler space, Ather is among the OEMs that have registered strong growth in FY 2022-23. If Ather can maintain its current sales momentum, it can easily cross 1 lakh annual sales milestone by FY 2023-24. As of now, OEMs like Ola Electric and Hero Electric have annual sales of more than one lakh units.Ather electric scooter sales March 2023 and Q1 2023Ather sales March 2023 and Q1 2023Ather sold a total of 11,754 units in March. YoY growth is 353.65%, as compared to 2,591 units sold in the corresponding period last year. Ather MoM growth in March 2023 is negative at -3.24%. Sales were higher in February 2023 at 12,147 units. Speaking about Q1 2023 performance, Ather sales were at 36k units, which is a 383% YoY growth over Q1 2022. Compared to Q4 2022, when sales were at 24.6k units, it is a 46% growth QoQ. Total sales in FY’23 were at 82,146 units. According to  Ravneet Singh Phokela, Chief Business Officer at Ather Energy, sales could have been higher if the chip shortage had not impacted operations in the first six months of FY’23.Ather expects that their sales momentum will continue in FY’24. To encourage faster adoption of its electric scooters, Ather has been consistently adding new retail outlets across the country. In FY’23, the company increased its retail outlets by 4X, from 30 to 116 stores.Ather has also been expanding its network of fast-charging stations. The pace at which Ather is adding new charging stations is truly commendable, as more than 900 charging points have been added in FY23. Ather now has a total of 1224 fast charging stations, making it the largest two-wheeler fast charging network in the country.Ather has also been collaborating with third-parties to set up charging stations at strategic locations. These will benefit commuters who may be using electric two-wheelers along with other modes of transport such as metro, bus, etc. Ather recently partnered with Southern Railways to install charging stations at ten MRTS and suburban stations in Chennai.Ather pricing a hurdleAther 450X is one of the most well-equipped electric scooters in the country. Safety record of Ather scooters is also impeccable, especially when compared to other electric scooters. However, high pricing of Ather 450X limits its customer base. Ather 450X price in Bengaluru starts at Rs 1,58,462 (Including FAME II subsidy). This may not be within the reach of a significant percentage of potential buyers looking for an electric scooter for everyday commutes.Ather can probably take some inspiration from Ola Electric that has launched affordable versions of its S1 electric scooter (Ola sales in March 2023 were 27k). The affordability is achieved primarily by using a smaller capacity battery pack. Even though range is reduced, affordable pricing is still a major draw, especially in case of buyers with limited budget. A new affordable Ather launch is expected later this year. More

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    Ather Grids To Cut Off Electric Scooter Charging At 80% – Here’s Why

    Ather Energy Announces Upgrade to Ather Grids – 80 percent Cut-Off for optimal charge for users
    Ather Electric Scooter
    Ather Energy has recently announced that their Ather Grids will soon be upgraded with an 80 percent cut-off. This will provide optimal charge for users, reduced wait time for others, and fair usage for everyone. While that’s a straightforward message, a tweet from their CEO related to the same caught our attention. ‘Once we disconnect the solenoid, charging cannot continue for safety reasons. You risk arcing and other non savoury things otherwise.’
    Understanding How Solenoids Convert Electrical Energy to Mechanical Energy
    If you own an electric scooter, you may have heard of solenoids and their importance in the charging process. Solenoids are essential electromechanical devices that control the flow of electricity to the battery. They convert electrical energy into mechanical energy and generate a magnetic field when an electric current passes through them.
    Ather Electric Scooter charging via grids – 80% cut off. Hat tip – Coimbatore Ather Owners
    However, if you disconnect while the battery is charging, you risk arcing and other safety hazards. It is, therefore, essential to let the solenoid complete its cycle before disconnecting it to prevent any damage or harm that may occur due to a sudden interruption in the flow of electrical energy.
    Risks of Interrupting the Flow of Electrical Energy to an Electric Scooter Battery
    When a solenoid is charging, it actively draws electrical energy and creates a magnetic field. Disconnecting the solenoid while it is charging can be dangerous as it may cause a sudden interruption in electrical energy flow, leading to an electric arc.
    Solenoids are critical safety features in electric scooter charging. They control the flow of electricity to the battery and prevent electric arcs that can be dangerous and even life-threatening.
    Preventing Electric Arcs During Electric Scooter Charging
    An electric arc is a discharge of electric current that occurs when there is a gap in a circuit. It can cause a flash of light, heat, and even an explosion, resulting in severe burns, equipment damage, and even death. To prevent electric arcs, it is crucial to let the solenoid complete its cycle before disconnecting it. This ensures that the magnetic field has dissipated, and there is no risk of an electric arc occurring.
    The Ather electric scooter is designed with safety in mind and uses technologically advanced lithium-ion cells for its battery pack. These cells have a high energy density, making them a popular choice for electric vehicles. More

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    Ather Sales At 12k In Feb 2023 – Registers 495% Growth YoY

    Ather Energy sales grew significantly on a YoY basis by 495 percent while MoM sales dipped 0.02 percent in Feb 2023Ather Electric Scooter ProductionBengaluru-based electric scooter manufacturer Ather Energy has seen increased YoY demand in Feb 2023. However, it was in the red on a MoM basis. Overall, the electric two wheeler segment has seen a surge in demand and sales in Feb 2023 crossed the 65,000 mark. New entrants and new products keep this segment on its toes.Ather Sales February 2023Ather Energy sales in Feb 2023 stood at 12,147 units, this was a 494.86 percent growth from 2,042 units sold in Jan 2022 relating to a 10,105 unit volume growth. It was however, a marginal dip in MoM sales by 0.02 percent when compared to 12,149 units sold in Jan 2023, a difference of just 2 units. Market share currently stands at 15.5 percent at a national level and at 21 percent in those areas where the company commands a retail presence.Ather electric scooter sales Feb 2023During the month of Feb 2023, the company inaugurated its 100th Experience Center (6 ECs in Feb 2023) and installed 1000 charging grids across the country. Ather also announced a corporate partnership with 2500+ organizations. Another milestone that the company achieved during the past month was the delivery of its 100,000th vehicle.Currently, Ather Energy sells two scooters – 450 Plus and 450X, priced at Rs 1.35 lakh and Rs 1.58 lakh respectively (ex-sh, inclusive of FAME II Subsidies). In Jan 2023, the company introduced updates on the 450X. As a part of these updates, Ather 450X also got a bigger seat for added rider comforts.It received new colour options as well. These are Cosmic Black, Lunar Grey, Salt Green and a Red shade while it also continues to be seen in colours of White, Space Grey and Mint Green. Ather also plans on expanding its portfolio later this year to include a new electric scooter positioned below the 450X and 450 Plus, so as to compete against the new Ola S1 Air.Upcoming Ather Electric ScooterAs on date, Ather Energy has no scooter in the sub-Rs 1 lakh segment. This is about to change this year. Ather’s upcoming affordable electric scooter was recently spied on test. It is slated to be priced in the sub-1 lakh range and will compete with the Ola S1 Air.The new Ather e-scooter is said to be positioned on a cost-effective tubular chassis as against an aluminum chassis seen on the current Ather 450X and 450 Plus. This will help reduce production cost and along with a smaller battery pack, Ather can price this new e-scooter very aggressively. Expect a ride range of 80 kms on this new Ather EV. More

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    New Ather Electric Scooter Spied – May Get Under Rs 1 L Price

    With a steel tubular frame, smaller battery and a less powerful motor, Ather’s new affordable scooter might be priced under Rs. 1 lakhNew Ather Electric Scooter SpiedIn the first phase of EV revolution we saw manufacturers launching loaded, feature rich variants. In the next phase, we are seeing introduction of more affordable variants. Lower pricing is achieved via installing a smaller battery pack, fewer features, etc.Ola has successfully entered step 2 with S1 Air. As announced recently, Ola is offering S1 Air with 2 kWh, 3 kWh and even 4 kWh battery options. Prices range between Rs. 84,999 and 1,09,999 (ex-sh). Ola’s rival, Ather is getting to launch a more affordable version of their electric scooter.Ather’s New Affordable ScooterA new test mule of Ather electric scooter has been spied in BTM Layout, Bangalore. Hat tip to automotive enthusiast Thushar for sharing the exclusive spy shot. It is likely to be of the upcoming entry variant of Ather electric scooter. The new test mule is starkly identical to existing Ather 450.Battery size is likely to go down as opposed to the 3.7 kWh unit on existing 450X Gen 3. With Gen 3, Ather promises a 146 km range and a 105 km true range. Ather’s new affordable scooter might promise slightly lesser range, albeit with a less powerful motor. Expect the 7” touchscreen with Google integration will be retained.New Ather Electric Scooter SpiedLast month, Ather launched Gen 3 of their electric scooters. Under this, the 450 Plus is priced at Rs 1.9 lakh while the Ather 450X is priced at Rs 2.13 lakh. These are ex-sh prices excluding FAME-II subsidy of Rs 55,000. With the subsidy, prices come down to Rs 1.35 lakh and Rs 1.58 lakh, ex-sh. The upcoming new Ather electric scooter is likely to get a price tag of under Rs 1 lakh, ex-sh, inclusive of subsidy.Phase II Of Battery Safety NormsPhase II of the new battery norms set by MoRTH will come into effect from April 2023. The enforcement is due to the high number of EV fire incidents reported, likely due to improperly designed batteries. Come April 2023, EV manufacturers have to meet Amendment-3 proposed to AIS 156 and AIS 038 Rev.2 across L, M and N categories.Amendment-3 of the said AIS, as issued by MoRTH, was in two phases. Phase I was in effect from 1st December 2022 and Phase II is set to take effect from 31st March 2023. Electric scooters fall into L category and should meet the new battery norms set forth by a panel under Amendment-3.Ather Electric Scooter Prices – Feb 2023Since the new changes to battery tech will add cost, Ather might strike out some elements on this upcoming budget scooter. Main among those will be 450X’s aluminium space frame. New chassis features a tubular frame that is more economical to fabricate.The chassis has seamless tubes of steel bent and welded to form a simple tubular frame. Battery placement is still in the floorboard. With FAME II subsidies expiring from March 31st 2024, EV manufacturers have to work towards expanding their scale of manufacturing to bring prices down. More

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    Ather Electric Scooter Fire Incident Update – Official Statement

    Ather 450X – Description of the fault, and how it led to the incident; damage limitation despite wiring harness catching fireAther Electric Scooter FireBy now, readers would be aware of the scooter fire in Bangalore. A few weeks ago, there was an incident involving an Ather electric scooter. But fear not. Ather Energy knows exactly what happened. And no, it didn’t blow up. The wiring harness did however catch fire. Even better, the customer is safe. And no further damage was reported.The root cause of the accident was traced back to a human error in the wiring harness assembly process. One of the connectors was improperly torqued, which led to sparking around the motor controller terminals. Although safety systems activated promptly to cut off power flow and limit damage, the wiring harness had already caught fire. Ather Energy has issued a statement to address the scooter fire.Ather Energy introduces two-step verification processIn taking full responsibility for this incident, Ather Energy has taken steps to ensure it does not happen again. Manufacturing operations have been updated and enhanced, including the introduction of a two-step verification process for the wiring harness assembly. This will help to reduce the risk of human error and increase the overall quality and safety of Ather e-scooters.Battery management systems (BMS) play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and reliability of electric vehicle (EV) batteries. The BMS monitors the battery cells in real-time, controlling the charging and discharging processes, and ensuring optimal battery performance. A dashboard safety system is also important in EVs, providing critical information to drivers, such as battery state-of-charge, range, and other performance metrics.[embedded content][embedded content]Explanation of the safety systems in place and how they prevented further damageIn the recent incident, it was confirmed that battery, BMS and dashboard systems performed as designed, and the battery remained unaffected. This highlights the high standards and rigorous testing protocols in place for EV battery systems.Ather Energy Official StatementIn all fairness, this appears to be an isolated incident. The incident has brought to light the importance of ensuring the highest standards of quality control. Ather Energy is committed to ensuring the safety and reliability of its e-scooters and continues to prioritise this in all operations. Case on point – Introduction of a two-step verification process for the wiring harness assembly.Electric two wheeler industry – high standards of quality and safetyElectric scooters are leading the way for EV sales. And as such, matters of breakdowns, fire, or even unsatisfactory performance are scrutinised with a fine tooth comb. Such concerns of existing and potential customers must be addressed promptly. Customers are looking for assurance that an EV manufacturer is committed to the safety and reliability of its products. As demand for EVs continues to grow, it’s crucial for manufacturers to prioritise battery and safety systems to ensure consumer confidence and trust. Adherence to international safety standards, such as UN 38.3, is essential to guarantee the safe and efficient operation of EVs.Companies are also investing in R&D to improve battery performance, safety and longevity, while reducing costs to make EVs more accessible to the masses. In conclusion, the battery, BMS, and dashboard safety systems are crucial components of any electric vehicle. As such, it’s imperative that manufacturers continue to prioritize and invest in their development to drive the growth and adoption of EVs. More