India first smart electric scooter Bengaluru-based Ather Energy has been teasing the S340 – billed as India’s first smart electric scooter – for a while now and many have been waiting for a chance for a test ride. The startup’s first smart electric scooter was unveiled at the Web Summit Surge conference in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
In a previous interaction with Gadgets 360, Ather Energy founder co-founder Tarun Mehta spoke about some of the design philosophies behind the scooter, as well as some of the challenges the company faced in cutting down on its cost and weight, and in extending the battery lifecycle.
While a test ride wasn’t on the cards at the company’s headquarters on Saturday morning, Mehta did share details of the dates for pre-orders, as well as a timeline for production and launch cities for the S340, detailing plans of its software features, such as personalised profiles, riding modes like sport and economy, and onboard navigation.
India first smart electric scooter Bengaluru-based Ather Energy
Under the hood: Ather Energy S340 Connectivity and dashboard features
Billed as a smart scooter, the S340 has GSM and Bluetooth connectivity. The startup has made a decision to move from Android to Linux for the dashboard operating system. While we weren’t shown the dashboard, a spokesperson later confirmed that it would use Google Maps for navigation through the web browser.
“It doesn’t really change much for developers, because the apps are still HTML 5 apps. Internally things haven’t changed dramatically,” Mehta explains. Users will be able to track the vehicle using their smartphones, remotely control and monitor the vehicle, enable fast charging by using a a slider on its app. “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.”
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Apart from vehicle location tracking, a lot of work has gone into providing vehicle analytics to the rider, on the dashboard and on its app. Users will be able to extrapolate their average driving speed. Mehta says that the team working on the data analytics love building their own profiles on the prototype, to gauge their energy efficiency.
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Co-founder Tarun Mehta said that the scooter will be priced under Rs. 1,00,000, with a formal price announcement likely three months from now.
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Deliver a top speed of 75kmph, and will do 0-60kmph in 11 seconds, have an estimated driving range of 50-100 kilometres, and recharge to about 90 percent capacity in an hour. The lithium-ion battery will have a life-cycle of 50,000 kilometres, with a lifespan of five to six years. “We don’t let the battery charge up to 100 percent, otherwise you will just damage the battery for an extra 2-3 kilometres,” Mehta said.