Welcome to ‘Owner Stories’, a captivating series that shares the unique experiences of Ather owners. Get ready to be inspired as we delve into the creative ways these owners utilize their Ather, showcasing the endless possibilities that await.
EP1 - Prem Mani from Bengaluru
The first part of our series showcases the experience of one of our long-time owners, Prem Mani.
Prem (@premmani), a Bengaluru native, has always been inspired by the technical side of things. Breaking and making things has always been his passion. He specifically reminisces about his youth when he spent time working on old valve radios and later moved on to more complicated electronics. Prem says that “I have been doing that right from the time I was a child. And then, of course, I finally did get educated in that realm and I joined my company as a technical guy.”
He also never backs down from a challenge. This was very clear to us especially when he told us about the time he was stranded in a village because of a broken belt on his Mercedes C-Class. Although there was no service center for at least another 100 kilometers, he did manage to get a spare belt delivered locally and even managed to fit it with just his bare hands. Prem proudly says that “That’s the limit I can go to. I just take it upon myself to fix anything.”
With EVs, Prem has a very unique perspective. He particularly mentioned, “Initially when I started, it was all about enthusiasm. It was never about being earth friendly or sustainable or environment-friendly.” It was only through his enthusiasm and curiosity about EVs that he realized how much he could save and how good it was for the environment.
The first ever EV he owned was the one he built himself using a hub motor and controller that he brought back from Singapore. He used it for 6 years before giving it away to a friend. You’d be surprised to know that it still works till date.
The first EVs he bought were both from Ampere, one of which he still uses. With only a few modifications including upgrading the battery from lead acid to Lithium-ion, he shows us that EVs do survive the test of time. What started off as a fascination with EVs and their intricacies, helped Prem realize that he was indirectly contributing to a much more sustainable future.
His love for EVs was not only limited to 2-wheelers but 4-wheelers as well. Prem is a proud owner of a Mahindra E2O since 2015. Being one of the first testers for the E2O prior to its release, the car has been his daily driver for the last 7 years. We already know that Prem puts a lot of time and effort into maintaining all of his EVs. His Ampere is a perfect example of that, having done over 2,00,000 kms! With this level of passion, he says, “The E2O will easily last me another 15 years”.
When Prem was introduced to Ather through a friend on the E2O forum, the first thing that caught his eye was its design language. He recalls the time he visited his company’s US office and saw a bunch of Teslas parked at the front. He compared his first impression of the Ather to how he felt when he first saw the Teslas; futuristic but also utilitarian.
Prem tells us that he’s not the type of customer who would buy a product immediately after its release. He says, “I don’t like being the first in line to buy anything. I wait for a few people to buy, hear their experience with the product, and then make a decision”. What pushed him to buy an Ather only 8 months after its release was the performance and reliability that the Ather exhibited over other EVs in the market.
From his own professional experience, while also being a long-time Ather owner, Prem gave us a lot of insight into what he feels a product company should focus on. He says, “A company cannot always create products that will never fail. There are always going to be imperfections in any product. But what a company can do is provide support when a product does fail.”
Prem does have his fair share of issues with the Ather Service Centers, which he strongly feels is one area Ather can improve on. But he says that he still trusts Ather because of the reliability and performance it provides him. In 2023, Prem is now the owner of 5 Athers and strongly believes that all of his EVs will continue to last for a long time to come.
While people have now only started believing in the EV revolution, owners like Prem are a shining example of how much of a positive impact EVs can have on a person and their surroundings.
The underlying message throughout our conversation with Prem was about the long-term efficiency of EVs and the positive impact that this has in furthering our goals for sustainability.
Owner Stories celebrates the journeys of EV owners like Prem by showcasing their passion for EVs and the limitless possibilities of the technology.
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