Ather Energy to set up Li-ion, EV production unit in India

Dec 2, 2019 05:59 PM ET
  • Ather Energy, an Indian electric scooter maker, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu to open a new production facility for lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicles.
Ather Energy to set up Li-ion, EV production unit in India
Image: Andrej Wrotek/Flickr

The facility will occupy more than 37,161 square meters (400,000 square feet) at a site in the city of Hosur, with the government of Tamil Nadu providing full support under its electric vehicle policy. The company will invest INR 6.35 billion ($88.7 million) in the factory, which will be its second manufacturing facility.

However, the Ather Energy MoU was not the only agreement that was signed at the recently concluded Investment and Skill Development Conclave event in Chennai. On Saturday, the state government signed nine new MoUs with a range of companies, for a total investment of INR 50.3 billion. The investments are expected to create 20,350 jobs, with Ather Energy’s production facility alone creating 4,320 new positions.

“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,” said Tarun Mehta, co-founder of Ather Energy. “A manufacturing facility at Hosur was an ideal choice considering that, it is close to our research and development facilities in Bangalore 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 Energy was founded in 2013 and created a huge buzz with the launch of the Ather 450 electric scooter in June 2018. The model comes with a powerful 5.4 kW BLDC motor and a 2.8 kWh Li-ion battery. The company’s electric scooters are complemented by Ather Grid, a network that spans across 34 charging points at 26 locations in Bengaluru and 10 charging points in Chennai. The company plans to set up 6,500 EV charging points in 30 cities by 2023.

In its Electric Vehicle Policy 2019, the Tamil Nadu state government announced several incentives for electric vehicles and component manufacturers to attract big-ticket investments and lap up the first-mover’s advantage. The incentives include a 100% refund of the state goods and services tax until 2030 for companies that invest a minimum of INR 500 million in the EV space and provide direct employment for at least 50 people. Other sweeteners include a capital subsidy of up to 15% for EV makers and up to 20% for battery makers on investments made before 2025.

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