Booking & Test ride
The booking opened on June 5th which is world environment day. A well thought out day IMO. Although it opened in the morning, being a weekday, I booked it by 8PM by making online payment of ₹5000. I got order ID no.1456 and an expected delivery range of Oct-Dec 2018. It was already the second batch after the first batch of Aug-Sep 2018.
I visited the Ather experience centre on 10th of June in Indiranagar to take a test ride. I Within 5 minutes after I entered the showroom, my licence details and phone number were taken. Upon receiving an OTP for confirmation, we were good to go. First to ride was my wife who would be the principal user of the scooter. The executive explained all features of the vehicle to her including the reverse mode!
That’s one loooong key!
She was particularly happy about the under-seat storage but she was surprised that there was no fold-able foot rest at the rear. She told that it would be needed for ladies who would want to climb up on one side when wearing a saree or something similar. I think she had a valid point (which I never thought of). She was then handed over the Key.
A simple flip-key would’ve been better here
My wife sat on it and my daughter joined her. She had enough room to stand there. seeing the kid, the executive warned my wife to be careful about the sudden acceleration and sharp brakes so that the kid doesn’t get hurt. He put on the navigation and off they went without making any noise!
Enough space for one kid to easily stand on the floorboard.
Be careful of sudden acceleration and sharp brakes when a kid is standing!
I had been there in our E2O plus and puti it to charge on the Athergrid. but it wasn’t able to charge. @tarun came out seeing my E2Oplus. He introduced himself to me once he came to know that I had got the E2Oplus and the issue with charging that(more on that later).
I told him that I’ve already booked the 450 on June 5th and had come for the test ride, and soon we were talking about the 450. I could see the excitement in him and why wouldn’t he be. He invited me inside the experience centre and I told I would join soon after my wife returns and I complete my test ride.
My wife returned and the first thing she spoke was “it is Awesome” with a happy glow in her eyes. That’s it, deal made!
I took the scooter after that. The first thing that caught my eyes was the 7" display which is well laid out and easy to read during day time too.
I turned the accelerator and immediately I noticed how well it accelerates. Not sudden at all as I had expected, Just perfect. I rode in all the interior roads around the area for 10 minutes. The Bybre brakes were really sharp. Although the rear disc brake has a tendency to get locked too soon, I felt that it was something that we had to get used to more than anything. I took some photos before heading back.
Rear view. I’m a fan of those tail lamps
When I was done with my test ride, I was instructed to park it in one of the charging bays and the vehicle was put to charge. As I parked, I felt that the vehicle leans a little too much to the side before resting on the side stand. Also here I observed that there is no centre stand! I had thought that it can be added as an accessory later but was informed that the centre stand was omitted for aesthetic reasons!!!
The test ride vehicle getting charged.
speaking about the scooter with other prospective customers. To be frank, I didn’t know who he was at that time
Although we were in no real hurry to get the vehicle, after the test ride, waiting became really tough as I was mighty impressed with the vehicle…
I had taken our E2O plus to the Ather experience centre to particularly check the charging facilities. Being a Saturday, I had prepared myself not to get a parking/charging slot. I was proven wrong. As soon as I reached there, One of the many Ather executives greeted me. I told him that I wanted to charge my car while I take a test ride of the Ather for which I had actually come. He immediately made space for my car and asked me to plug in my charger. Upon scanning the bar code through the Ather grid app (I had pre-installed and registered in this app) The charging started. However, soon the app displayed an error “vehicle not detected”. This happened in all the charging stations there. They were as puzzled as me because they said they had charged many E2Os there earlier. They told me to take the Ather test ride while they sort out the charging issue. Anyway, I was not that worried since the E2O plus had more than enough charge to take me home.
Open the flap on the station and plug in your 5A charger. When you open the flap, the light glows red on the console body. Close the flap it the light glows green. To charge an Ather, you’ll have the plug in the station itself.
Open the flap and the light glows red
Close it and it’ll glow green
On the Ather grid app, scan the QR code that’s printed on the station and select the time you want to charge the vehicle. it is in the multiples of 30 mins. I chose 1 hour and said ok.
Duration of charge
It immediately syncs with the server and the charging begins!
Regarding the charging issue, Tarun told me that this is the first E2O plus and they were not sure if it was because of that (they had charged many E2Os and not an E2O plus it seems). They called and checked with their back-end team and got a response that there was indeed some technical issue with E2O plus compatibility and it would be sorted out in the next days.
Charging any EV is free till December 2019!
The experience centre
As soon as I entered the building, I was greeted by an obituary! What a wonderfully shown message
Is it the end???
Then we saw two display Scooters parked
Glowing white LED headlamp looked so beautiful.
On the wall opposite to these scooters, they have beautifully displayed the development story of the Scooter.
The story thus far…
Further ahead, we saw this beautiful skeleton…An aluminium alloy chassis developed from scratch. The difference of any other electric scooter and this was evident here
Tarun came to me explained a few things about the chassis and then showed me around the experience centre. I asked him why they omitted the centre stand. He told it was to mainly to have a minimalist look and reduce weight.
Moving on, the two main components of the vehicle-The Motor and the Battery pack were exhibited separately. It is quite compact.
All focus on the Motor
Then the battery pack which was built form scratch was displayed in an innovative way inside a clear acrylic tub of water. It is IP67 rated for water and dust resistance.
IP67 water and dust rating for the battery pack
I then put my phone inside the tub for a picture. Tarun initially thought I was taking a close up photo but then when I actually started immersing it, he shockingly started telling me “water, water, don’t, don’t” I calmly told “it is IP68”
IP67 Battery pack and an IP68 phone.
Later Tarun had tweeted this experience on his twitter too
I was then showed the Ather grid area where they have displayed the map with the location of the charging stations.
Ather grid map
Besides this, there was a small riding gear section where there were some riding gear exhibited probably for sale. Also, details of Ather one plan were displayed here. Just in front of this were some desks for completing paperwork and the tables also served as a small cafeteria. We were served nice cappuccinos while Tarun took leave of us.
After this, there was a large TV screen and one of the other executives showed me the details of data that they collect what all are mapped via the 6-axis IMU and the SIM in the scooter. I was told that we can go incognito using their app which will be available with the scooter. This mapping was instant and we could see our data along with the many others who had taken the test ride that day.
Test ride route, acceleration, most efficient section
Even the lean angle and lateral forces are measured and plotted
I was told however that this graphical recorded data will not be available to the owner/rider but will be used to tweak driver specific parameters to their individual scooters.
After thanking the executive, I started to leave their showroom. Like their scooter, the experience centre also is minimalist, well laid out and beautiful. I left home satisfied, impressed and eager to have this scooter soon in my garage.