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Chennai, NFAPost: Following the relaxation in lockdown across the country, Ather Energy has restarted its operations in Chennai, a week after it resumed operations in Bengaluru.

All possible precautions at Ather Space will be undertaken including sanitisation of the workspace, use of masks, gloves and sanitizers by the service professionals and staff, and practicing social distancing for a safe and smooth experience and Ather Energy’s efforts to back to normal functioning, Ather Energy said.

The move comes after the government in both the cities announced a relaxation for two-wheeler and four-wheeler showrooms, service centres, and firms dealing in automobile spare parts.

Commenting on the resumption of services, Ather Energy Chief Business Officer Ravneet Phokela said the company is slowly opening up retail stores and offices, and are hoping that some semblance of normalcy will be achieved in the coming months.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us to expand pan-India over the coming months, and thankfully, the lockdown has not affected those timelines dramatically. We are now working on a slightly revised timeline of Q4 of 2020 to begin deliveries of the Ather 450X across India,” said Ather Energy Chief Business Officer Ravneet Phokela.

The R&D centre in Bengaluru and the experience centers in both cities have opened for a restricted number of employees and customers.

The experience centers will be open for limited hours and will operate with limited staff onsite to comply with health and safety guidelines. Deliveries of the Ather 450 have begun in a limited capacity in both cities and will scale up depending on resumption of operations of other ancillary partners, and permissions for interstate transport of vehicles.

To address the economic impact of the lockdown, Ather will continue to innovate on its ownership models, like increasing the financing options available to consumers and introducing batteries on subscription.

Ather was the first OEM to introduce lease plans for two-wheelers in India and a unique, zero hassle post purchase plan – Ather One – that limits cost of ownership and usage to Rs 700 per month.

This year Ather will be available in 8 new cities (Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata) with their flagship model Ather 450X – The super scooter.

Ather Energy, India’s first intelligent electric vehicle manufacturer was founded in 2013 by IIT Madras alumni, Tarun Mehta, and Swapnil Jain. Besides announcing the expansion of dealer network, Ather Energy also wanted to give primacy to Make-in-India initiative and announced investment for setting up a manufacturing facility in Hosur in Tamil Nadu.

Ather Energy Chief Executive Officer Tarun Mehta said Ather is rapidly scaling up and we need to expand the company’s production capacity to meet the growing demand.

“The new unit will help us meet the demand for the next few years across the country. 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. A manufacturing facility at Hosur was an ideal choice considering that, it is close to our R&D facilities in Bengaluru 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,” said Tarun Mehta.

The company is backed by the founders of Flipkart -Sachin Bansal &Binny Bansal- Hero Motocorp and Tiger Global. Ather Energy launched India’s first truly intelligent, electric scooter – Ather 450 in 2018, followed by their new flagship offering Ather 450X, the super scooter in 2020.

Ather has also installed a comprehensive public charging network, Ather Grid, designed and built in India. With 38 charging points in Bengaluru and 14 charging points in Chennai, Ather Grid is one of the largest fast-charging networks for electric vehicles in the country.

The company’s product line has won 30 awards in design, automotive and technology categories. With over 51 patent applications, 113 trademarks and 123 design registrations to its name, Ather Energy aims to provide consumers with the best possible ownership experience. Ather Energy currently operates in Bengaluru and Chennai and in 2020 will expand to 8 more cities including Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune & Hyderabad.

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