In direct competition to Ather Energy, a Gurgaon-based start-up Twenty Two Motors is all set to launch its smart electric scooter for nearly half the price at the Auto Expo in February.
The company which showcased its prototype vehicle last year will be launching the scooter for nearly Rs 60,000. It's nearest rival - Flipkart founders and Hero MotoCorp-backed Ather Energy also plans to launch its e-scooter for over Rs 1 lakh in 2018.
Twenty Two Motors plans to roll out around 50,000 vehicles that will require an investment of about USD 150 million over a period of 2.5 years. "It includes 2.5 years of total expense," Parveen Kharb, co-founder of Twenty Two Motors said in an interaction with Moneycontrol.
The company is also in advanced stages to raise fund from the investors. Kharb, however, declined to share details of the amount being raised or the investors.
"We haven't closed it but we are in discussion. Should possibly close in the next one month," Kharb said.
It raised USD 1.6 million in a round led by Ishwar Singh, CEO, Haryana Industries in April 2017. Farhaan Shabbir, former director of Harley-Davidson also participated in the round.
Founded in August 2016 by Kharb and Vijay Chandrawat, the company has named the scooter, Flow. The vehicle will be fully IOT compliant having things like GPS, GPRS, gyroscope, accelerometer among other features. With the use of data mining, it will be able to determine the riding behaviour of the user.
The company also allows a user to control the scooter remotely with the help of its mobile application.
While the company is building its own batteries, electronics, and software, it has tied up with third-party vendors for ancillary components such as lights and plastic parts.
Since all the information will be accessible on the server through the cloud system, it will allow remote troubleshooting as well.
"The real challenge is to educate the customers," said Kharb. For the same, the company plans to set up about 20 experience centres across the top 10 cities. The users can come to these centres and book their vehicles.
The vehicle will have space for two batteries. In a single charge, the batteries will have the capacity to go almost 80 kilometers.
According to Kharb, batteries are costly components. So in order to reduce the burden of the customers, the company will offer them an option to lease the second battery on a need basis. The amount hasn't been decided yet but it should be lower than Rs 50 on a daily basis, Kharb said, adding that it will be delivered on the doorstep.
The company claims that the current electric motors have a speed of less than 25 kilometers per hour. Flow, on the other hand, will offer a speed of 60 kilometers per hour.
The company refrains from calling the conventional two-wheelers as its competitors.
"It is not going to replace that... the two-wheeler market for electric is very small.. so the first thing is to educate the customers and make them feel that this is the right product," Kharb said.