This e-scooter will be a game changer for the Indian e-bike market due to its connectivity features, uber cool dashboard, its lithium-ion battery, quick charging times, more power than current generation VRLA based e-bikes and remote diagnostics.
The Ather S340 has GSM and Bluetooth connectivity. The dashboard uses Linux as the dashboard operating system, which would use Google Maps for navigation through the web browser. The apps would be simple HTML 5 apps.
We hope Ather would release an SDK for custom apps that could open up tons of possibilities.
Mr Tarun Mehta, co-founder at Ather says - "You could create custom riding profiles from your mobile phone itself, so that when the vehicle starts, on your profile, those settings will already be pre-saved. So you can specify, what kind of acceleration response, top speed you want, and then save them on your profile, and then go to the vehicle, and select your profile again, those are the exact settings you will find."
Another aspect of these profiles, is gamification. Apparently the team is working on the data analytics - like building their own profiles, to observe their energy efficiency.
Vehicle analytics can help inform the user if they are an unsafe rider who takes sharp turns, Mehta says, adding that good riding behavior would not influence just the battery lifecycle, but other components as well.
"Electric drive trains already have most of those sensors and data logging happening inherently," Mr Mehta says. "You just need to start tapping into it, and pile up software and intelligence on top of it, to come up with outcomes like this. As we get more and more data from the vehicles, our understanding and insights on this is only going to get far deeper."
The lithium-ion battery pack are rated to last for around thousand recharge cycles, following which it will lose 20-30 percent of its original capacity. We estimate an efficient EV rider can extend the life of the Ather battery pack to upto 1500 to 2000 recharge cycles.
We did speak to Mr Swapnil about battery pack safety from bumps, accidents etc. Apparently the battery pack, encased in an aluminium block that's completely sealed, and waterproof, and functions three metres under water.
The S340 will first be available in three cities - Bengaluru, Pune and Chennai. The company will have service centres and experience centres operating in these three cities, where people can come and take a test ride.
You can pre-order now. There will be a waiting period of five to six months.
The startup has a plant for assembly in Whitefield, Bengaluru, to keep production as close as possible to the design centre. While the manufacturing of its components are being outsourced, the scooter is completely assembled, built and tested in Bengaluru. The battery pack is also completely assembled and built by Ather.
This is one cool looking e-bike. The connectivity features, super cool Linux based dashboard, remote diagnostics, fast charging of around 1 hour, and power matching petrol scooters. The Ather S340 is truly a next generation e-bike.
We at PluginIndia will review the bike and give you more real world details. Stay Tuned!
We spoke to Ather about the booking and delivery process. They answered some questions.
Do ask other questions in comments and i can get the nice people at Ather to answer them for you guys.
Q) Pre-Booking is open now on your website? Is that right?
A. No. We have a basic Pre-order Interest form in the new website right now. If anyone is interested in owning an S340 they can fill in their basic details in it. The signed up enthusiasts will get all the updates regarding the product, features, pricing and timelines on a regular basis.
Q) Pre-order will happen after 2 and half months. Also what will happen after 2 and half months if i order now?
A. Once open for pre-orders, you will have to pay a minimum amount towards pre-booking the S340.
Q) When will experience centers open? Chennai, Blore and Pune (Any approximate month)
The first experience centre will open in Bangalore by May 2016. Other city roll outs will be in June-July.
Q) And finally - Estimated month of delivery?
Production is slated to start by end of this year. While technically shipping can start almost at the same, delivery dates will vary from 15-30 days depending on the city.