- Published On: 12 June 2018
- 4 min read
Can this scooter truly be an uncompromised replacement to the petrol-powered scooter?
Bengaluru-based start-up Ather Energy has introduced two New Electric Scooters, the 340 and the 450. They look identical and share the same mechanical bits but where they differ is performance.
We tested the 450 for this review. You get full-LED units for the lights and the scooter comes with a slim apron, integrated pillion footrest (rather than foldable pegs), a stylish front number plate mount and grab rail. The overall attention to detail is superb - practicality is uncompromised – you get a roomy floorboard and a very generous, illuminated under-seat storage bay. Overall, this is a scooter that looks sporty and cool.
It comes fitted with a 7-inch full colour touch screen – this IP65 rated water-proof unit offers an array of features that you can also control via a mobile app. The white-backlit screen features three menus – one each for settings and rider insights, navigation (you get a SIM card which Ather will pay for initially and will later be a part of a subscription service) and park assist (which helps you reverse the bike at speeds up to 3kph). You can choose to ride in Eco mode as well - it reduces top speed and response by a reasonable bit. Ather will release over-the-air updates so that the scooter is always up to date.
Start the 450 up and a loud in-built chime is what you first here. A gentle twist of the right wrist is all you need for the scooter to dart ahead. You can run this at conventional scooter speeds in near silence, with only an oddly likable whine right up to its top-speed of 75 kph. There’s zero lag, so the scooter is great fun in the city and it offers very usable power delivery. Mid-range is strong and this makes overtaking in the city a relatively easy task. The brakes are good enough for a scooter like this and ride quality is pliant.
The battery pack needs replacement every 50,000km and is built by Ather themselves. Ather claims a realistic range of 75km in Eco mode and 60km in Power mode for the 450. The company also claims a 2hr 40min home-charging time to 80 percent capacity, 4hr 18min for a full charge and, under fast charging, 1km per minute.
The company has currently set up chargers as part of the Ather Grid (currently a rapidly-expanding network only in Bengaluru, Chennai and Pune are next. The first lot of customers will get the home charger for free and even Ather’s existing public charging network can be accessed for free (to even non-Ather EV owners) for six months.
Overall, in addition to its cool quotient and meticulously incorporated features – this is a scooter that makes a strong case for itself. It’s realistic and practical, and as an overall effort, is way ahead of other electric scooters on sale today.
Priced at Rs 1,24,750 (on-road, Bengaluru; Rs 1,09,750 for the 340), the Ather 450 isn’t cheap but it does such a good job that you won’t mind spending the extra money on it.