A year ago India geared up to introduce new norms for emission control caused due to automobiles, called the Bharat Stage 6. The intention was to reduce the carbon footprint from vehicles and help to reduce global warming. From 2020 to date, we have seen a significant amount of expansion in the electric vehicle market. Needless to say the amount of hype generated in youth when Tesla confirmed its existence in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Electric Vehicles have a gradual growth in the market with over 20 Ev manufacturers as competitors. One of them has grabbed the attention of young youths, called the Ather. An Indian Electric Vehicle company founded in 2013 by Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain. This hype is for two reasons, one since Ather looks way more futuristic than other competitors and second being the most expensive, do you think it’s worth spending 1.8lacs for an Electric scooter? let’s find out.
Ather has two variants namely the 450plus and the 450x. Both look very similar in design and share the same frame as well. Few differences between the two:-
|Gradeability||18 degrees||20 degrees|
|Riding Range (ECO)||70kms||85kms|
|Total Range by (IDC)||100kms||116kms|
(IDC-Indian Drive Cycle)
Ather can be yours : (Mumbai price)
- 450PLUS – 1,50,000/-
- 450X – 1,80,000/-
The major difference between the two models is the riding modes, Warp mode which is available only on the 450x. What is the warp mode? All the One Plus users must have heard about the Warp charger unfortunately, Ather’s Warp mode is not related to fast charging. Stay with us and we will let you know about Warp mode in our Riding experience.
Instrumental cluster:- A 7inch TFT LCD display that can be controlled by a toggle switch or simply by touch. We have sim card on mobile phones, Ather also gets a sim card and works only when the network is available. Yes, you guessed it right it comes with a renewable subscription which is added cost. The TFT is a multi-info device that shows plenty of information such as google maps, Tyre pressure monitor, Bluetooth to attend calls on the go & listen to music as well, Ather Mobile app which allows your phone to connect to Ather’s TFT, gets an android with a 1.3GHz Snapdragon Processor you may ask why? To get new software updates released by Ather and to remove bugs that might show up when using other apps. The display is IP65 rated which means it is waterproof.
Exterior:- The 450+ and 450x look very similar and is very difficult to differentiate between the two. The Chassis is made of aluminum alloy which makes it light and weighs 108kgs. The headlights are located on the front panel and are LED setup, the DRL is located on the handle integrated with indicators all are LEDs thus reducing the load on the battery, unlike the conventional bulbs. On the dashboard, we have a 7inch TFT LCD display that doubles up as an instrument cluster, it is touch adaptive and can be controlled by a switch on the right in case you find it difficult to touch while commuting. The side stand and mirrors are beautifully crafted and suit the futurist design of Ather. The rear end gets a tail-light with integrated side indicators, it gets a saree-guard as well.
Riding position:- The riding comfort triangle is good can be improved. Footpegs for the pillion are placed a little bit forward might be a problem for a few people. Gets a decent ground clearance of 160mm, scrapping a speed breaker is almost impossible.
The overall weight of the rider and the weight of the motor is intelligently placed, right under the rider’s Center of Gravity (C.G) thus it feels very nimble on corners, unlike the other scooters where the end feels slightly heavy. It gets telescopic suspension on the front which pops the front end when front brakes are applied, this tends the rider to lose confidence while braking around a corner. The rear suspension gets a Mono-shock which keeps the 450x planted around the corners. In terms of bringing the ather to a complete stop, the 450 gets equipped with disc brakes for both front and rear sourced from BYBRE, the brakes are assisted with a combi-brake system. The Belt which helps to transmit power from the motor to the road wheels is made of carbon fiber and does a great job with a blip of throttle without any lag. But it makes a sound as if you’re flying an airplane, the friction between pulley and belt produces a squeaky whistle sound which is at times infuriating.
- Ather recommends to service twice a year, i.e once in 6 months which costs roughly around 2.5k each service.
- Ather Users have an option to pay 2800/- upfront for a year which will include those two services.
Ather Connectivity Cost:-
- The plans range from 400/quarterly to 1100/quarterly
- You have to choose one and need to update quarterly, else your Ather might show bugs and give issues while riding
Ather is also giving 3 years 50% Cashback program on both the models. In the ownership months between 30-36th month, you can return your Ather back to the company and get the assured value of about 50% of the price you have paid while buying this Scooter. One of the best ways for a company to trust their product. But this might be a limited period offer we are not sure about how long this offer is valid.
Charging cost: two options available DOT and GRID
- Dot charger is available for personal use and is installed at the personal residence where one full charge of around 3 units will cost you 20-25INR per charge. It takes around 6hrs to fully charge 0-100%. This charger is free with every Ather.
- GRID Charger is a public-oriented charging station that costs NIL as of now, in Mumbai they 7 charging stations. it takes 2hrs to fully charge 0-100%.
The million-dollar question, should you buy Ather 450?
As we said Ather is not like any other electric bikes it’s a mixture of performance and fuel economy. In terms of I.C engine Scooters, that’s not the case, you get either of the ones to choose from either performance or fuel economy. Just to give a clear picture we have to choose Aprilia 160 which is performance-based and Suzuki Access 125cc which gives maximum fuel efficiency in the lot. We have compared these two scooters with Ather 450.
Consider a scenario, you commute daily for 20kms a day to-n-fro throughout the year. So with respect to fuel efficiency and service costs and the price of the scooter you buy. We have considered these to be a few points where money is a major aspect. We compare all the three two-wheelers on these parameters and then calculate which one is pocket-friendly for daily commuting.
|APRILIA 160||SUZUKI ACCESS 125||ATHER 450X|
|On-Road cost||1.11 lakh||89000||1,70,000|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||7L||5.6L||–|
|Fuel Prices||97.57/ltr||97.57/ltr||25/- per charge|
|Service cost ( 1 paid service ) x 4||1100/- x 4 (service every 3 months)||1333/- x 4 (service every 3 months)||2800 (two services are done at 6-month interval)|
Graphical Representation for a clear understanding:-
As the graph indicates the most expensive amongst the lot is the Ather 450x but if you also focus on the traveling cost it is a drastic margin between the three and this is just for 1 year. To top it up, Ather has also introduced a scheme where 50% of the cost will be returned after three years which you might not get on other two-wheelers.
Points where Ather steals the show:
- TFT display shows almost every information a rider could ask for.
- Warp mode is impressive and doesn’t lag.
- Supports fast charging.
- Build quality is good.
- Advantage of riding in floods. (Motor is IP66 rated)
Where Ather can improve:
- ABS is a must for both 450+ and 450x.
- Ather connectivity should reduce their subscription plan cost.
- More power grids needed pan India.
- Expensive as compared to other EV’s.
- Belt noise is very irritating.
- Improve ride quality, increase headlight (LED) throw.
- No provision to add any Auxiliary parts.
The cost of Ather is expensive as of today, but we can expect it to be in the affordable range in the future since the battery pack is imported from South Korea it is expensive. We have tried to keep reality in front of you and thought of what an average Indian would do before buying a scooter. Ultimately based on our facts it’s you, who have to decide which scooter you have to buy.
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