Bangalore-based electric vehicle maker Ather Energy has announced that the firm has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tamil Nadu government for a 400,000 sq.ft. manufacturing facility. The MoU was signed at the Investment and Skill Development Conclave in Chennai. The new facility will be located in Hosur, Tamil Nadu and is supported by the state government's EV policy. The electric vehicle maker stated that the new production plant aligns with the brand's plans to expand to 30 cities in the next few years, and the MoU will help scale-up production plans for the same.
Speaking about the MoU, Tarun Mehta, Chief Executive Officer, Ather Energy, said, "Ather is rapidly scaling up and we need to expand our production capacity to meet the growing demand. The new unit will help us meet the demand for the next few years across the country. 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. A manufacturing facility at Hosur was an ideal choice considering that it is close to our R&D facilities in Bengaluru and most of the existing and potential future supply base is operating in the region. The availability of a built-up option of our desired scale and proximity helped in the decision making."
Ather says that the upcoming facility will not only cater to EV production but will also cater to the company's lithium-ion battery manufacturing. The new plant will create a number of job opportunities in the region. Ather also says that over 4000 employees will be trained in requisite skills in the EV sector as a part of this initiative over the next 5 years. This MoU comes on account of the state and central government's push for electric vehicle development with an update FAME policy, GST reduction and benefits for taxpayers on loans taken for electric two-wheeler purchase.
Ather Energy currently retails the 450 electric scooter in Bangalore and Chennai, and the company will be expanding to other cities including Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai and Delhi in the coming years. The manufacturer more recently discontinued to smaller 340 e-scooter, owing to the dismal demand that the model received compared to the 450. carandbike recently told you that Ather is planning a new line of more affordable scooters that will be priced lower than the 450 and are likely to arrive in the next 12-18 months.
Ather's current production capacity stands at 35,000-40,000 units annually and the new manufacturing plant will extend the same by 12-fold up to five lakh units per year. At present, the company is fulfilling orders for the Ather 450 until the end of the year, while bookings are open for the third batch of the scooter with deliveries expected between February and March 2020.