Bangalore-based electric two-wheeler maker Ather Energy has announced a price reduction on its range of scooters. The Ather 340 and the 450 get a price reduction by up to ₹ 9000 on the on-road prices. The price drop comes with the change in the GST rates for EVs that now stands at five per cent instead of 12 per cent, applicable from August 1, 2019. The Ather 340 is now priced at ₹ 1.02 lakh, while the Ather 450 is priced at ₹ 1.13 lakh (all prices, on-road Bangalore). In Chennai, the Ather 340 is priced at ₹ 1.10 lakh with the Ather 450 priced at ₹ 1.22 lakh (all prices, on-road).
Speaking to carandbike, Tarun Mehta, co-founder and CEO, Ather Energy said, The GST rates are a very powerful consumer influence and the price drop is substantial and it obviously have an impact. It's a solid eight per cent drop in the end consumer price. So whatever segment you take in the EV space, whatever product you take, this means a significant update in demand across all products. The Indian market will get a significant boost for the next couple of years. Now there is a need to focus on the EV policy on infrastructure and supply-side incentives. For electric vehicles, you can't think narrowly only on the demand, you have to think of the entire supply-chain here and while you first get the demand going, the focus should be on making sure these vehicles are manufactured in India. Making sure there's a robust supply chain in India for this."
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The new GST rates were proposed under the Union Budget 2019 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to the GST Council. The new rates were approved late last month. The new GST rates come as part of the government's push towards faster adoption of electric vehicles. The lower rates coupled with the FAME II subsidy are intended to make electric vehicles more affordable for mass market adoption. The reduction in the GST rates will affect other electric vehicles on sale in India including the likes of the Okinawa scooters, Revolt Motors and more. The recently launched Hyundai Kona Electric will also get a price reduction of about ₹ 1.40 lakh on the on-road prices.
Ather Energy commenced sales in its home market - Bangalore - last year, while operations started in Chennai earlier this year. The company plans to expand its presence in 30 other cities including Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Delhi NCR by 2023. The Ather 450 is the company's flagship offering and promises a range of 75 km on a single charge, and comes loaded with tech features including a touchscreen display with navigation, park assist and more. The scooter offers a healthy 20.5 Nm of peak torque from its electric motor and draws power from a lithium-ion battery.