There was a trend when the graduates from premium Indian Institutes flew abroad to enhance and develop their ideas. By the end of 2010, this trend got reversed and what we then saw was a massive hike in Make in India products, startups and young Indian entrepreneurs. Such a startup is Ather!
I would prefer to call the Ather Scooters as the Indian substitute of TESLA, as they belong to the premium category of Electric vehicles. Ather 340 was the first extra affair I got after the inbound love towards ROMAI and AMPERE Electric scooters. And recently riding Ather 450X, oh boy! This is something out of the way.
Okay, now coming to the experience, I visited the Kochi Ather showroom. The first impression of the futuristic element strikes you even from the design aesthetics of the showroom. A minimal and subtle approach in showcasing the electric scooters along with an anatomy of the whole vehicle gives us the feeling of entering into some other universe (other than the IC engines).
HOW DOES IT LOOKS?
The overall scooter has its own streamline design which is very aggressive in looks. I was expecting a bit more bulkier vehicle. This is so compact! The evolution from 340, the 450X weighs 11kg less than any of its predecessors. The ‘lower center of gravity’ thing every EV says, we can literally experience when you sit on this bad boy. There are also some minute yellow accents over the vehicle, which adds to the aggressiveness and futuristic design of the vehicle. You also got the plastic panels here and there which look premium and are replaceable which is a nice addition when it comes to the maintenance factor.
When it comes to the front, the first thing which I felt was the handlebars being a bit low for my taste (my height is 5’11”). The large and seamless 7” touchscreen bags you with all the data you need for the vehicle. The upgraded version comes with an Android platform which makes things much easier and it is also worth noting that the touch sensitivity has increased to a greater extent. You also get all those smart features, 4G connectivity, Bluetooth, OTA updates and much more.
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Under the hood, the 450X has a 2.9kWh battery pack and a 6kW peak motor which outputs a massive 26Nm. All these sounds weird though, let’s make it simple. The vehicle has 4 modes- Eco, Ride, Sport and Warp. It’s like a family equivalent mode where Eco is for your parents, Ride is for your sister, Sport is for your brother and Warp is for you! And in the Eco mode which is ok in highways you get a maximum range of 85km per charge, this can be as low as 55km in Warp mode.
The Eco and Ride mode, as told, would be more than sufficient for your parents. Linear power, good comfort and easy handling best suited for all those heavy city traffic. The sports mode is a bit more aggressive and would be similar to any of those 125cc segments. The warp mode literally amazed me with its massive acceleration and high side speeds up to 94kmph (90 claimed). You get that huge inrush of adrenaline when you start your vehicle from 0 kmph in the Warp mode. But this significantly reduces the range also! And the acceleration when compared to Petrol engines, Ather is only slightly ahead of them. Though the rear mono suspension and the tyres stay the same, they were slightly bouncing in the highways when speeding over 60-65kmph.
The vehicle is easy to maneuver and the turning radius when compared to Activa 125 is very low, making it very easy to twist and turn in tight corners. The other feature I like about 450X is the parking assistance, which is a very handy feature when it comes to taking your vehicle from a parking lot.
Ather has indeed developed a great rivalry to the editing IC scooters out there. Almost equal to the petrol scooter prices, more and more people are going for EVs. The advantages like no more petrol prices, good performance, no or less maintenance, no pollution certificates and silent riding all add up to the reasons why you get an Ather. On the flip side, initial investments, charging time, charging infrastructure, subscriptions plans, battery dependencies, warranty and after sales support are some of the concerns that you should keep in mind.
The 450 plus on road price is around 1.40lakh and 450X is around 1.60lakh. The mindset to move forward with green energy, uplifting and promoting Electric Vehicles and the pride of riding an EV will certainly make Ather 450X a better choice for your next 2 wheeler lineup!
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