This includes costs for everything - from fuel to part replacements to battery replacement to connectivity!
Hopefully this acts as a reference for many people not persuading you to go electric!
At the same time, we have been asked by many people about the total cost of ownership for the Ather 450X and Chetak electric scooters.
So we made a spreadsheet, ran it by the EV owner community and also sent it for Chetak and Ather. Chetak guys replied and gave us some numbers. Ather guys too replied and gave us some numbers.
If we are talking about premium electric scooters, then let's compare them with these so called premium pollution scooters as well.
We are looking at an operation of 6 years and riding 12,000 km per year.
* Ather Service Pack is estimated to be 6000 per year. First year is estimated to be included. This will be updated when Ather lets us know the Annual service fee. We also assume that Ather Service Plan will include Annual and On Demand Vehicle Service. Chetak - First 3 services are covered. First - 1k km, Second - 12k km, Third - 24k km.
After that we are told, it would be around Rs 1000 per service every year
** The Ather Service Pack also includes connectivity fees. This includes data-related features & services and access to over-the-air updates. Chetak Connectivity is included in first year. After that, it is estimated to be around 3000 per annum. This will be updated when Bajaj lets us know the connectivity fees.
*** Battery Replacement Cost for Ather and Chetak is Estimated after 5+ years
Maintainance of petrol scooters go up as the petrol scooter ages. Same is not the case with electric scooters
Part Replacements are costs for replacement parts after warranty. The amount may be more or less than indicated. Standard amount is set for all models.
So first the sticker price
₹ 159,000 - for the Ather 450X with the "Pro" powerpack variant. Also we are not talking about Ather’s subscription plans here. You pay flat cash and that is what we are considering here.
₹ 119,350 - for Chetak Premium flavor
₹ 113,000 - for Vespa Elegante 150
₹ 78,277 - for NTorq Race Edition BS6
So it’s Rs 0 for Ather as there is a Ather Service Plan which we will talk about soon.
For Chetak, what the company people told us is that the first 3 services are included in the base price. First service is after 1k km, Second service is after 12k km, Third service is after 24k km.
Essentially you don't have to pay anything for 2 years and have to pay around Rs 1000 per year as your annual service fee after that.
So let's keep that as Rs 5000 for the remaining 4 years.
I told the Chetak team, that this annual service fee seems so low. Their response was that they want to have a lesser service cost than an Activa pollution scooter.
So Bajaj looks like, wants to play the long term game here, and are willing not to make money on service - which is fantastic for the end consumer.
The entire ICE business model ensures that you make money off the customer, from service which is a terrible thing.
It remains to be see, if Chetak will honor the low service costs say 3 years down the line. Let's see.
Then we have the Ather Service pack, which is an annual service fee that you will have to pay Ather. We are told that that the Ather Service pack will include service and connectivity.
Ather Service Pack is estimated to cost Rs 6000 per year. First year is estimated to be included. As of March 2020, we don't know the exact cost yet. The blog will be updated when Ather lets us know the exact amount.
The Ather Service Pack also had other perks like home service, On road assistance etc. It remains to be seen if these will be offered for the 450X.
So Ather has been upfront about connectivity fees. It is included in the Ather Service Pack, so we won't add any extra connectivity fees for the 450X
While Chetak does not include or talk about connectivity fees or features on their website. This feedback has been given to the team.
We got information from them that the first year is included in the base price.
After that, it is estimated to be around Rs 3000 per annum. The blog will be updated when Bajaj lets us know the exact connectivity fees in 3-4 months, which is what they said.
Connectivity in pollution scooters! It’s a total joke here, the so called connectivity in NTorq is via Bluetooth and they seem like total gimmick features :)
Connectivity is far superior and important for electric scooters. You can push software updates and add features or improve the drive train as it ages. This can never happen with pollution scooters.
Anyway let’s move on.
Parts and Repair/Replacements
Now this is a gray area with Ather 450X and Chetak. Once a user completes 3 years or 50,000 km, then if some parts go kaput, then we can expect significant costs here? For example the onboard charger inside the Chetak, the Belt of the Ather 450X….what else, i expect the motors to be reliable and not give issues. Basic electronic components like the travel charger etc.
In case of pollution scooters, Fused indicator, headlight bulbs, Clutch, Chain, Spark Plugs etc.
So I have kept Rs 15,000 for all the models. This can vary from user to user, it can be more in some cases and less in others.
The cost difference is so huge that it feels like most people using pollution scooters are getting ripped off by the OIL companies. It’s insane. When you ride a petrol scooter, you are paying these OIL companies and OPEC countries. And many of these countries hate India! When you ride an electric, you save money on transportation and spend it on the local economy.
So you guys see the social benefits of EVs here.
Battery Replacement Costs
Ather makes their own battery packs. Chetak gets a battery pack from Bosch, Germany. This might change soon as they have to make the battery packs in India to qualify for FAME 2 subsidy. And Bajaj and Bosch are giants, and I am sure they will find a
solution to make these in India.
The current Lithium Ion cell costs are around 200$ per kWh in early 2020. So, I assume the battery pack will cost around $900. This includes the BMS the cooling features - the entire battery pack.
So around 65k. We assume in 5+ years time, the costs will go down to 160$ per kWh. Also cells will be made in India, and thus i have placed a cost of Rs 50,000 as battery replacement cost.
This definitely will be lesser. But let's be pessimistic here.
So if you look at the TCO numbers, the Chetak wins easily. But the Ather 450X is not insanely expensive as many of us think.
People always look at sticker prices and don't realize how much they waste money on oil.
So if you are in the market for a scooter, I implore you guys to go for an electric. You will have a fantastic experience with the quiet whir of the motor, the great tech features, vibration free riding and an overall feeling of helping your city and country.
If you like Chetak, go for it. We at PluginIndia loved it.
If you can like the Ather 450X, do your best to help this amazing startup that is pushing all our ICE manufacturers to get serious!
Electric Scooters offer the best value compared to petrol scooters, even if the sticker price is more! Not to mention the societal benefits that EVs bring about!
Do watch out podcast on this topic, if that interests you.
Also we have an editable spreadsheet, i leave it to you guys to add more models, tinker with the numbers and so on!
So until next time, ride safe and always ride electric!