Everything we announced in the Virtual Owners Meet - Jun 2021

Hey @450-Owner, @450X-Owner

Thanks to all those who attended the Owners Meet last Sunday, and shared your views, feedback, and questions! It was a lovely interaction with a lot of you, and we are glad to have a vibrant community. With hundreds of 450, 450 Plus, and 450X owners joining in, and 500+ questions asked, this was the largest owners meet so far! As promised, here’s a summary of the announcements at the Owners Meet, along with the top questions asked.

We’ve summarized the top questions based on the number of owners who’ve asked similar questions and tried to answer newer ones as well.

Use the guide below to navigate to the update you’re looking for:

  1. Updates on accessories and OTAs
  2. Service related FAQs
  3. Ather Grid related FAQs
  4. Product related FAQs
  5. Business & Subscription related
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3G to 4G upgrade:

We’ll start this once lockdown restrictions are lifted. We’re waiting for clarity on those dates. Things are on track internally.

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS):

TPMS is in the final testing phases. We are looking at a launch in Aug/Sep if the lockdown doesn’t continue. Check out a sneak peek into what using a TPMS would look like on your Ather 450X dashboard.

  • Get the most range out of your scooter, prevent uneven tyre wear, tyre bursts.
  • See real-time tyre pressure on the dashboard.
  • Connects to the dashboard via Bluetooth.
  • Get alerts on your Ather App when your tyre pressure might impact your range.

Performance Tyres:

We’ve been working with partners over the last few months, to develop a performance tyre that’ll help you handle the scooter better, and extract the maximum performance, without compromising too much on the range. However, we’ve hit some roadblocks in making the performance tyres available to our owners. As an OEM, we can’t offer a tyre as an accessory, due to business practices by tyre partners.

There are some recommendations for performance tyres by the community, which might be useful if you’re looking for a switch. Do exercise caution when replacing tyres, and ensure you get your belt tension adjusted if you do decide to change your tyres. Changing tyres might have an impact on your vehicle warranty, if it impacts any structural or performance functions of the scooter.

Smart Helmet:

There is some uncertainty over new ISI regulations that are being enforced from June 1st, 2021. We are continuing work on the concept, but changes have to be made based on the clarity that we get. We will have more information regarding this in the next couple of months

Translucent panels:

Because of the continuing lockdowns, there is a global shortage of raw materials required for the manufacturing of transparent panels. It’ll take us a few weeks to procure and produce transparent panels from when the lockdown is lifted. The design, testing and trials are completed. Series 1 Owners should start receiving an email to get your interest in the transparent panels.

Ather Connect/Service extension:

We understand many of you still aren’t able to use your scooter due to the lockdowns, and we’ll be extending any current subscription plans by a month, for the month of May. You’ll see this extension show up in your account directly over the next few weeks.

On OTA updates:

Ather 450X & 450 Plus

The Ather 450X and 450 Plus will be getting two key feature updates in the next few months:

  1. Theft and Tow detection - Get alerts in case someone messes with your Ather 450X/450 Plus, and lets you track the scooter on your app. This would be applicable for Connect Pro subscribers only.
  2. Auto Dark/Light theme change - Set this option to automatically change your scooter dashboard theme between light and dark mode, depending on the time of the day.

The Ather 450X and 450 Plus will continue to get updates that improve the vehicle with bug fixes and updates. Feature updates would be a few times a year.

Ather 450

The Ather 450 will continue to get bug fixes for major updates, along with new features in the next few months. We’ll continue to roll out app-based features and improvements.

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Service related

Due to a lockdown, I wasn’t able to use my scooter, what would you recommend about the first service?

Periodic service intervals are every 5k kms. Once lockdown restrictions are eased, our team will reach out to you if you’ve completed close to 5k kms, to schedule your first service.

In my city, there’s no full fledged service center that’s open today, can I get the periodic maintenance done?

The service centers were delayed due to the lockdown related restrictions. We expect them to be up in a month or two once lockdown restrictions are eased. If your vehicle service is due before that, our local team will reach out regarding the next steps.

Any view on battery replacement costs for the 450? Has the price come down?

So far, we’ve not had a case where an owner has replaced the battery pack due to degradation. At today’s prices, we estimate a replacement battery pack to cost around 55-60k INR.

What can I do if I’m stuck at a place with no battery remaining?

You can call up our 24*7 roadside assistance to avail support in towing your vehicle, however a nominal charge will be applicable for battery run out cases. if you’re on a Service plan, this would be at no additional cost, within the serviceable area in your city!

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Ather Grid related

Any updates on grid points? Seems to have plateaued in my city

Over the last year, we started expanding to several new cities, installing Ather Grid points as we started operations in each of the cities. We’ve tried to ensure that every city we’re live in has a few points to start off with. We plan to add 100+ charging points across cities this year, so stay tuned for updates. Of course, if you know someone personally willing to host an Ather Grid point, you can write to us at athergrid@atherenergy.com

Will there be any issues with frequent usage of Ather Grid points?

There is some impact on the aging of batteries when excessive fast charging is done, but from what we have seen of our current users, we have not observed a lot of this kind of usage. You should continue your normal usage of the grid, your warranty holds up regardless of the type of charging you do.

Why are so many Ather Grid points unreliable?

Over the last few months, we’ve had some issues with our network provider, leading to many Ather Grid points showing up as offline. In addition, some Ather Grid points have been turned off by ths hosts, since they’re not operational in the lockdown. Due to lockdown restrictions, we haven’t been able to access the Grid points to rectify this. Rest assured, we’re working to fix the issues with the Ather Grid points. Network issues aside, we’re glad to share that Ather Grid points have an uptime of 95+%

A lot of vehicles are usually parked in front of Ather Grids, is there anything that can be done about this?

Do report this in the App, and our team will reach out to the Ather Grid hosts to see if we can do something.

Will we get a connector to use at public charging points setup by govts and other companies?

At this point, the cost of such a connector would be too high to make sense, since it would require voltage conversion to match the charging spec on the 450/450X. Most public charging points have a 3 pin AC socket, which can be used along with the portable charger to charge up in case of an emergency.

Will Ather look into setting up AG in petrol pumps ?

We are exploring partnerships in this space, but we’re focusing more on parking lots, malls, cafes, restaurants, where you’d be able to grab a bite or spend some time while your scooter gets charged up.

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Product related

Any chance of a new product around the corner?

The focus for the next year is on improving the Ather 450X, and expanding across different markets. We are exploring new models, and frequently registering new IP, but no new models for the next year

What’s the limitation on regen?

Regen needs to be tuned carefully to ensure good, consistent riding and braking experience, especially for people not familiar with regen. We are working on giving a clean user experience while providing advantages of regen braking, something to expect in the future.

Should we really put in the effort to keep it away from 100% and 0%? Or is it not worth it?

Our battery, like any other lithium ion, performs best in mid-SOC ranges. Early aging data is showing that we can expect 450X batteries to last 6+ years based on typical usage. Rigorously following 20-80% for every session might lead to a further increase of 6 months to a year. Overall, ROI for the effort is low. We will work on some features around charging to improve battery life, but we want users to enjoy the entire range and power of the 450X without other worries.

Why are there so many bugs and issues in the 450X? When will we get new features?

Our first priority is to ensure a stable user experience. Since the launch of 450X we have released several updates to reduce the number of issues - we have a couple more updates coming in to close most annoyances on the vehicle. We are actively working on adding meaningful features that would be a positive experience for owners, rather than cramming the scooter with new features that owners might not use - you will see these updates in the upcoming quarters.

What will happen to the Ather 450? Would owners continue to get updates?

We’ll continue to rollout software updates, primarily improvements and bug fixes - feature updates will be less frequent. The focus would be on adding features to the 450X. Owners can expect new app-based features to be rolled out more frequently.

Why does performance keep changing with every OTA update?

We don’t change the performance from update to update, we have only modified the Sport mode in the previous update to fix the peppiness issue. Other than that, no other modes have undergone any change. The “feel” of the performance depends on many factors - tyre pressure, load on the vehicle, etc. Since a few of you have reported this, we’ll reach out to you once the lockdown restrictions are lifted, to do a check on your scooter.

Are there any recommended performance tyres from Ather?

Currently no, there are plenty of owners who’ve changed their tyres and shared their experience on the forum. Do exercise caution while changing tyres, since it can have an impact on your scooter warranty if the modification done has had an effect on the failure/degradation of the product performance.

Can I buy transparent panels separately?

No, transparent panel cannot be bought seperately

What happened to the subscription extension because of 2G?

We’ll be adding Ather credits in your account for the duration that a 450 owner is on 2G, until the 4G module becomes available. Once lockdown restrictions ease up in Bengaluru and Chennai, we’ll announce when the credits would be added to your account

Will there be more options to redeem my unlocked referral credits such as accessories - portable charger, 4G upgrade?

At this point, no. Referral credits can be used to renew subscriptions only.

Can ride stats sync over Bluetooth?

Data points from the scooter are pushed to the cloud & in the backend this data is put into a representational format post which the app reads the data & shows in the format seen, hence a direct bluetooth sync is not possible.

Any reason for not having a higher top speed that 90?

For an urban commuting vehicle, we are confident that a top speed of 80kmph is more than sufficient based on riding patterns and data on road. Currently, our hardware is limited to provide this as a top speed - increasing this would require significant changes in our powertrain.

Recommended ways to ride at 60-70 kmph but still get good range. At Least 90 km.

You can check out tips on improving your range numbers here: https://blog.atherenergy.com/all-about-the-range-in-an-ev-in-flat-8-minutes-e31f815b64cd

Exchange program from 450 to 450+/450x

The upgrade program was closed a few months back. Please post your listing on the forum, there are several enthusiasts looking to get their first electric vehicle.

When will you add a hazard/parking light feature in the scooter?

Hazard lights have been considered internally, but we have a few higher priority features that we’ll rollout before bringing in Hazard lights. Right now we don’t have an exact date on when this is coming in.

Is 2G - 3G upgrade possible now?

Since the 4G module will be available for purchase shortly, we’re not offering a 2G-3G upgrade currently. We’ll inform owners when they can book an appointment to get the 4G module installed.

There are many feature requests on the forum, when would they be rolled out?

We are looking into the list & based on priority & how the feature would impact the community positively will be evaluated & you shall see some of them making its way via future OTA’s

Why does the battery drain in an idle state?

While the scooter is idle, there are several functions working to keep the battery healthy and ensure that your data is synced to the cloud and ensure quick boot-up times when you turn the key on. If you’re not going to be using the scooter for a few days, you can shut it down to minimize the battery drain.

Any plans to introduce a pillion sidestep?

Our team has few prototypes & is trying to get it reverse compatible as well. So, hopefully during the next owners meet we will have more information on this.

Any plans to introduce ABS?

We want to push 450X higher up in terms of performance and handling, so ABS is in the roadmap for the 450X, but we do not have any timelines currently. Vehicle architecture limits us from retrofitting it on current vehicles.

What steps should we take to protect our scooter in monsoons?

Ensure that your scooter is parked in a closed area, with a cover if required. Unplug the charger if not in use, to prevent any water ingress into the chargers. Ensure that the scooter is parked in solid ground, and not loose soil, since this could cause your scooter to fall in case of heavy winds or rains.

My scooter has been shut down for about 2 months. What should I do to start using it again?

Not a problem, simply turn on the key, and charge for a couple of hours before heading out. You might also have a few software updates pending, so we recommended installing those as well.

How can I safeguard the wiring against rat bites?

Ensure that you park in a clean, dry place with plenty of ventilation. If you’ve had cases of rat bites in the area before, try using a scooter cover. In addition, a few of our owners have suggested a few remedies on the forum, which might be useful.

Why are the tyre nozzles oriented away from the discs? It’s hard to fill air

The disc brakes tend to get hot after usage, which could lead to accidental burns while filling air.

Can we get battery health reports more frequently?

We are exploring better ways to give you representations on the battery health as part of the app / monthly logs. We are exploring the best solution & you shall hear more about it in sometime

What’s the recommended way to use the modes on an Ather 450X?

There are no rules as such for you to use the modes. You can switch it anytime based on your power requirements.

How can I improve my battery performance? Any dos and donts?

Your battery has undergone extensive testing and it is observed that even after 2+ years of ownership and usage, less than 10% batt SoH reduction is seen. You can continue to use Ather Grid points and home chargers, and ensure you park the scooter in a covered area, to prevent unnecessary increases in ambient temperatures.

Why does the display turn on automatically at night?

This was reported by a few customers. We had fixed a few instances of this in the previous updates, and will be releasing an update soon to ensure this doesn’t happen. Some of our owners are currently testing this (10.1.3) under the beta program, and we’ve got positive feedback on the fix so far and should roll it out to all 450X and 450 Plus owners in a couple of weeks.

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Business related

Any plans to expand into 3 or 4 wheeler markets?

Not in the next few years, our focus is on electric scooters.

Any plans to export the ather 450x?

Currently, there are no plans of exporting the Ather 450x. We shall be observing the opportunities in future if something come up

Subscription related

Due to the pandemic, I was not able to use connectivity or service subs, can I pause/get it extended?

There’s no option to pause a subscription currently. We’re offering an extension to the current plans that you would be subscribed to. We’ll share an update over email once the extension has been added.

When google maps is free, why are you charging for it?

Google Maps is free for non commercial personal use, however, as an OEM, we have to get a license per scooter to be able to use Google Maps features, which is why a subscription is required for it. There are additional costs around connectivity, data storage and data pipeline costs.

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