Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal have invested $1 million in Ather, a start-up focused on designing high-speed electric two-wheelers for the Indian market. This funding round also includes investment from Raju Venkatraman, serial entrepreneur and CEO of MEDALL, Ather said. Incubated and supported by the Incubation Cell at IIT Madras, Ather was started by Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain in 2013 with a mission to accelerate the adoption of electrical vehicles in the country. Ather said in a release that with a talented team of 15 engineers and designers, its key focus area is to develop technology to manufacture the best electric vehicles. This round of funding, the start-up said, will be primarily used for product development.
From carmakers to motorcycle manufacturers, everyone is eager to scoop in a few electric motors in their range of offerings. Even the Milwaukee based Harley Davidson, who’s main clientele are people with long beards and massive tattoos are pitching their customers with an electric motorcycle. Its clear that the times of change are upon the century-old internal combustion driven automobile industry.
While we do have a few players which includes the Hero Group, customers have not really been very interested and have given a limited response to the various products available. India is still a nascent market in this regard with some laid back efforts seen by Hero Group and Gujarat based Yo Bykes. The major concern with buyers is the performance and feasibly of electric vehicles for daily use as charging becomes a cumbersome factor hindering their sales.
That said, with new developments in battery technology, there is a huge scope for electric vehicle as a future prospect, for the Indian market as well as for export. One major problem which consumers have often complained is that these products have a limited performance which makes commuting on electric two-wheelers a time consuming job!