Ather Extends Faster Home Charger Upgrade To Base 450X Buyers At A Discount
- Base Ather 450X now comes with a bundled 250W charger that takes over 15 hours for a full charge.
- Ather Energy is offering the ‘Dot’ charger upgrade at a discounted price of Rs 7,500.
- EV start-up will start issuing refunds to customers who paid up to Rs 20,000 for their charger.
Electric vehicle (EV) start-up Ather Energy recently revised its portfolio, and equipped the entry-level Ather 450X electric scooter with a lower-capacity charger as standard. The 250-watt charger that is now bundled with the base 450X has resulted in inconveniently high charging times. Faced with criticism over this move, Ather Energy is now offering base 450X buyers the option to upgrade to a more powerful home charger for an added cost. As part of a limited period offer, Ather will provide its ‘Dot’ charger to 450X customers at a discounted price of Rs 7,500. The start-up hasn’t specified the duration for this offer, simply stating the offer is valid ‘until stocks last’.
Also Read: Ather Energy To Refund Charger Cost For E-Scooters Purchased Till April 12, 2023
Ather customers have previously paid as much as Rs 20,000 for the ‘Dot’ charger.
As a result of being limited to using the bundled 250-watt charger, the base 450X will take 12 hours and 15 minutes for a 0 to 80 per cent charge, and a substantial 15 hours and 20 minutes for a full charge. In comparison, the top-spec 450X (specified with the ‘Pro Pack’), which comes with the 700-watt Dot charger as standard, can achieve a 0 to 80 per cent charge in four hours and 30 minutes, and a full charge in five hours and 40 minutes.
Also Read: Ather 450X Price Slashed; Features Dropped From Base Variant Following Subsidy Pause
By opting for the charger upgrade, buyers of the entry-level 450X can enjoy the same charge times as 450X Pro Pack owners. For many buyers, this upgrade may be a no-brainer, as quick charges for the base 450X will otherwise be impossible – unlike the top-spec scooter, the base 450X cannot be charged at Ather’s fast-charging station network, the Ather Grid.
Also Read: TVS To Refund iQube Customers Who Paid Over Rs 1.50 Lakh For The E-Scooter
carandbike has learned the upgrade will continue to be offered to all base 450X buyers for the foreseeable future. However, once the limited period offer ends, customers may have to pay a lot more for this upgrade, as the Dot charger has previously been sold for as high as Rs 20,000.
Also Read: Hero MotoCorp To Reimburse Vida V1 Buyers For Chargers; Slashes E-Scooter Prices
The base 450X has the same battery pack as the 450X Pro Pack, but misses out on a slew of vital features.
At Rs 1.15 lakh (ex-showroom, including FAME-II subsidy), the entry-level 450X is considerably cheaper than the 450 Plus. However, compared to the 450X Pro Pack, the base 450X has next to no features – the 7.0-inch screen has a greyscale theme; there’s no 4G or Bluetooth connectivity, no media playback functionality, no connected features, no park assist and no ride modes. It’s worth noting that the now-discontinued 450 Plus did offer some of these features, including park assist and ride modes.
Also Read: Ola Electric Confirms It Will Reimburse Charger Costs To Customers After FAME-II Controversy
Ather Energy – along with Ola Electric, TVS and Hero MotoCorp (Vida) – has been mired in a controversy around the FAME-II subsidy. Anonymous emails sent to government officials prompted authorities to question manufacturers who have been selling electric two-wheelers with the charger for their vehicles sold as a separate add-on at extra cost. Brands resorted to this strategy in order to comply with the FAME-II subsidy eligibility limit, which is pegged at Rs 1.50 lakh (ex-factory).
As it stands, the base 450X cannot use Ather's ‘Grid’ fast-charging network.
Ather Energy has confirmed it will be extending reimbursements to eligible customers – who purchased an Ather electric scooter and had to shell out extra money for a charger – in the next two weeks. However, this process may take some time, as different customers paid different amounts for their scooter’s charger, carandbike understands.
In total, Ather Energy is now faced with paying up Rs 140 crore as part of the reimbursement process. The start-up has also been asked to return close to Rs 25 crore to the MHI, as it further added to the price of its flagship scooter by including a proprietary software upgrade. Up until recently, the Ather 450X’s price included a ‘performance upgrade’ over and above the ex-showroom cost of the scooter, which added Rs 21,510 to the final invoice, from which the FAME-II subsidy amount (Rs 55,500) was deducted.