Whee…! It was a love at first sound. One fine evening in December of 2018, we visited a couple of electric two wheeler manufacturers for test rides. We came to Ather after riding the okinawa and it was a world of difference. The test ride, the experience center and the conversations with the excellent sales team were all top notch. It was a refreshing change from the regular dealership visits. The statistics, the components, the technology, it was all there on show. Kudos to the entire team behind this inventive idea. By the time we reached home in the night, our first electric ride was booked. There were a lot of unknowns but I was willing to take the plunge. Fast forward to June 26 2019, we were on our way to pick up our beast. Only my web search history will help understand the quantity of reviews I had read/viewed prior to the delivery date. Phew, finally the wait was over!
The real test was to begin now, on-road, to meet the expectations and prove their mettle. It took the initial few weeks for us to get use to the ride and the functionality supported on-board. After all, we were not used not a big display on a 2 wheeler! My commute distance was 61 km (from Ullal to Marathahalli and back). After riding conservatively for the first few days to gauge the efficiency, I started to reach home each day with about 8 kms to spare, meaning I was getting more than the estimated 65 km range! Riding style has a big impact. The excellent handling in traffic lead to less fatigue and of course the high torque available got me out of a tight situation in a flash. On the days I needed to make the extra trip to the football field, the public charging stations came to my rescue. Hassle-free and convenient locations of these points made the stops quick and easy. Well don Ather with the plan to setup the grid before the deliveries! Weeks passed and slowly but surely we cut our range anxiety and started to confidently rely on the on-board range estimate. We started to enjoy the silent, powerful rides. In a month or so, we setup a residential grid-tied solar power generation system at home. My wish of having a renewable energy powered transport infrastructure was in place. We have not paid a power bill since!
Problems were few and far between. When the time came to perform the routine service at 5k kms, I only had wear and tear related problems. Minor software glitches were no obstacles for us to keep riding. About the service, it was smooth. They pickup the vehicle ask for issues, get it serviced and drop it back. Door to door service at it’s best. The kms were piling up and our other scooter (Wego) was slowly sidelined. Such was the reliability we got out of the Ather. Just as I thought things couldn’t get better, Eco mode flew into my vehicle. Yes, flew, over the air (OTA) update! It proved a blessing in disguise for my long commute. It meant I could go conservatively in traffic and let it rip on open roads. Sports mode can help you beat a person who jumped a signal and got a head start of ~10 seconds on you. Trust me, that feeling is priceless. The rain, the potholes, excess weight, a few minor falls, nothing could dampen the spirit or the functioning of our Ather. It kept on wheeing happily. Could it get any better? Yes, said Ather. They released the teaser for the 450x and I was quick to jump on board and pre-order it. Why wouldn’t I? I had absolutely no reason not it. With all the excitement around the new machine, I didn’t even realize my 450 had crossed the 10k mark. Not a single flat tire, not a single case of breakdown. It has never given up on us. Remember the question about expectations I had earlier, well, forget meeting, it has exceeded them to our pleasant surprise. The customer service team has been great too. No-nonsense, to the point and most importantly for this generation - timely.
Even today I get the chills when sports mode is on. What a journey it has been. It has motivated me to believe in the greener transport solutions that exist. Future customers, do not think twice, just order one and join the gang. Existing ones, you know you are lucky to be a part of one of the best startups in India. Proud to say there are from my home city. Keep going Ather Energy, we’re with you. To more wheeing…and green rides…