My Ather ride Analysis, Observations and Overall experience

It has been 7 months since I received my Ather 450X Jolanda, and I wanted to share the data I have collected of my rides and some overall thoughts and observations.

Note: This post is going to be long. So, brace yourself.

Ride Data Summary

  • Distance travelled - 1282 Km
  • Total hours charged - 126.5 hr (Fast charging - 6.5 hr)
  • Total money paid in electricity charges - ₹235 (0.18 ₹/Km)
  • Number of overall battery cycles - 22.72
  • Average efficiency - 35 Wh/Km
  • Average Range per charge - 73 Km (Mixed mode)
  • Total ride time - 66.38 hr

Analysis & Observations

Effective range

This is an important factor in determining the range you are getting, but it doesn’t get discussed as much. My average range is 73 Km if I ride from 100% to 0% SoC. But obviously, that never happens! Most of the time, my Jolanda is just sitting idle. I do switch it off when I foresee it will be idle for a long time, but I don’t do it overnight or even for 1-2 days of inactivity.

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Taking my average range, number of times I have charged and comparing the distance I could have ridden to the distance I actually rode, I got a 77% efficiency. With that, my effective mixed-mode range becomes 56 Km!.

So, for an average user, more than the mode you ride in or the riding style, the idle time determines your range.

Effective Range - 56 Km

Idle battery drain

With the data I have, I could also calculate the approximate idle battery drain. With the efficiency percentage, I calculated the total percentage points lost during Jolanda is not moving. That came to 295. Taking the ratio with the hours Jolanda was not riding, I computed an average drain of about 0.065% per hour. For a day, it becomes 1.55 percentage points lost in idle.

Note that this calculation is done with an approximation of the amount of the time Jolanda was shutdown, as I didn’t keep track of the exact times. So, let’s round that off to 2% drain per day, which is inline with what I notice generally.

Idle battery drain - 2% per day

Money saved

Although this wasn’t a main reason why I bought an Ather, it is a nice benefit. Before getting Jolanda, I used to commute around Bangalore using Uber, Bounce and Rapido. I have collected ride data from all of them over the last year and I calculated that I was paying ₹20 per km on average using them. Now, with Jolanda being there, I barely use any of them. So far, I have only paid 0.18 ₹/Km on Jolanda. That comes to amazing savings of ₹26,794 in 7 months. Yay for that!

On a side note, Savings tracker from Labs is pretty useless! image

Using Ather is 100 times cheaper than Uber and is even cheaper than public transport!

Tyre Pressure

I have seen some people on the forum report issues that they have to keep refilling as the tyres loose pressure quickly. I, never faced anything like that. In the past 7 months, I had topped up only a handful of times (~5) and in all those cases I have never noticed a drop in pressure more than 2 Psi. So, that has been good so far. I don’t use a TPMS.

Bangalore traffic Analysis

This was just something I have started analysing recently and so do not still have a lot of data but based on my rides, I have computed the average speed on the road for every hour of the day. Although this is based on only 300 Km of ride data and in my riding area, I believe it still applies to the rest of the city, more or less. And this will only keep getting more accurate as I travel more.

Most of the data above is intuitively what you’d probably think. The data during the night is a little sparse, as you can see, but I’d probably expect to see the bars rise more towards the end. Hopefully that will become apparent with more data.

Issues

Issues I had faced in this time.

Delivery

The issues started before I received my Ather. Ather promised a date and kept on moving it. I would have to call them to figure out what is happening, and they never called me by themselves even once to inform about the delay in the timeline! It’s sad to see that new customers are still facing the same issues after 7 months. Ather seems to be too busy expanding rather than focusing on the existing problems. This could come back to bite Ather in a big way if they are not careful!

Another issue during the delivery was with TPMS. The delivery person explicitly told me that the hardware was already installed, and I just had to wait for the software update. Imagine my surprise when I found out later that TPMS costs 5k extra! Clearly, customer communication is not Ather’s strong suit.

Tyres and Grip

This is also an issue that has been beaten to death in the forum, but just adding here as this is an issue that I have noticed quite a bit. The tyres being skinny and not grippy, I had some close-calls on the road. Thankfully nothing actually happened till now and I have been trying to be as careful as possible. Good to see that Ather has changed this in the newer Gen 3. Hopefully that is better!

Mirrors

Another issue that has been discussed in the forum a lot. The mirrors that come with Gen 2 are pretty bad. Half the mirror is blocked just by hand and the other half tapers down, reducing the visibility. Also, my mirrors keep coming loose by themselves. I have tightened them at least 4 times so far. Recently, I have also noticed that the mirror joint (where the mirror attaches to the stem) is not as tight as it used to be, and the mirror moves by itself on the road when there are potholes and bumps.

Overall a pretty bad design, and I am glad that new replacement mirrors are going to be available.

Suspension

Now, this is a common issue for bikes, so I won’t hold Ather liable too much here. But this is a problem I have started noticing recently. Probably because of the potholes and bumps on the roads, I seem to have lost the suspension. The ride is far more bumpy now than it used to be. Not sure if I should wait until my first service or to go to Ather now to get that fixed. Thoughts?

Dashboard errors

I didn’t have any errors until very recently. Not sure if one of the last updates messed it up. Most of the issues I have are with Navigation. I see that the Drop Kick update is out claiming to fix some of these. Hopefully that will be it for that.

Also, another interesting issue I noticed recently was that the dashboard turns on when the key is off and vice versa! It was quite weird. I saw it twice so far. The engine was still off at that time. It seems like it is just the dashboard that has this problem. I will report this if I face it again.

Seat comfort

Another issue that I have started noticing recently as I am travelling more now. After long rides (~ 1 hour), I notice that my back aches a little. This is not a huge deal yet for me. So, I am not thinking of replacing the seat, but something I will keep in mind.

Ignored feature requests

There are so many feature requests that I see with a lot of upvotes that would enhance the experience of using Ather. I have barely seen a reduction in active requests! I know Ather has been run as a hardware company more than a software one for a long time, but It is high time they start picking these features. There is a lot of scope for improving the software experience, and they should start shovelling away at that quickly.

Ather Grid points

This is more of an annoyance than an issue for me. But I’m still mentioning here. Ather had been adding new grid points around Bangalore and I see a few new ones in my commute area which is great news. But after setting them up, Ather doesn’t seem to do periodic maintenance on them. A lot of times the grid points are down, or they charge terrible slow. In fact, a charger at Ather’s Indirangar centre has been down for a long time. Not sure if it is fixed even now! This goes back to my previous point about Ather’s expansion. If Ather is not spending time resolving issues like this, it will be really hard for them to manage these with all the new cities being added.

Overall thoughts about Ather’s future

There are users on the forum who have been with Ather far more than I have been, but I think they would also echo some of these thoughts. I purchased Ather after a lot of research into the existing 2-wheeler EVs at that time and test riding them. I made the payment immediately after my test ride, as I knew that nothing else would top that experience. Ola was available at the time in the market, but I went with Ather expecting Ola to have the issues it had for the past year.

Taking the delivery discomfort out of the way, I had loved my experience riding Jolanda so far. I knew it was a solid product when I bought it, and that view still holds true, even with a few issues along the way. But recently, the things Ather is doing, is making me question the future of the company a little.

The expansion, that I have already brought up above, is a problem that I see for Ather’s brand. There are still a lot of issues in Ather’s supply chain. Aggressive expansion without fixing these issues are going to be costly for Ather. Ola suffered quite a bit because of this. I don’t want to see Ather being dragged through that.

The release of the so called 450X Gen 3 seems rushed. It is understandable that Ather is feeling the pressure on range with other models in the market, but Gen 3 is barely an upgrade on the existing Gen 2. I would just call it Gen 2.5 or something. A lot of the issues with Gen 2 still remain in Gen 3 and I wish they would have put in more effort for the next version. Even the decision to upgrade the battery by increasing its size is like a slap across existing users. We all know that Ather batteries have been keeping up well even after 3 years of usage but just changing the battery dimensions like that just pulled out the carpet from underneath all the users that were looking to get a battery upgrade in the future. I wish they hadn’t done that.

I think that’s enough for the rant.

Overall, I would say Ather is still a strong player in the market. I still recommend people around me to buy an Ather but I am less optimistic about the company’s future now than I was 7 months ago.


If you have read till here, thanks for your time. Have a good day. Cheers!

PS: I will maybe come back to update this when I complete 1 year. Let’s see if thing’s change then.

15 Likes

Do we have any tool to track the performance, watt consumption, ride statistics all in place ? Or the user will have to maintain a track of this data manually ?

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Nice analysis , I’m just curious how did you keep track of the day by day odo reading ?

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Wonderful analysis. With suspension, I suggest get it checked. I have had no major niggles with the suspension for 15k kms so far.

Totally agree with the software experience. It could be much better. Even worse, Gen 3 has the same software issues with navigation, send location to scooter still doesn’t work, pinch in and out still lags, search for a location on dashboard works only when you move the bike for a few metres. Haha

Gen 3, IMO, doesn’t seem to be worth an upgrade for those who have 450X and now it has become even more expensive in Maharashtra.

I enjoy a lot many long leisure rides and Ather grid points are very important to me. But as you pointed out, once set up, Ather doesn’t give a damn about them. Plus, the Ather grid software integration is very bad. The app would show the point is online and you would find that its not or has been taken down.

But, Ather still is a wonderful product and there is a lot for Ola to snatch from Ather.

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Unfortunately, Ather doesn’t provide any way to export the data out. It is all manually recorded in a local database by me on a daily basis.

I wish Ather let’s us export the data they show on the app or atleast provide that on the website so that we can build a scraper for it.

@abhishek.balaji , Any plans for it?

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