The edgy escooter
Convenient, practical and effortless, the Ather 450 could be easily chosen over a conventional 125cc gearless scooter
Ather 450 is an electric scooter from Bengaluru-based start-up Ather Energy. Priced at Rs 1,24,750 on-road Bengaluru, the escooter follows in the footsteps of Ather’s first offering, the S340. The 450 may look identical to the S340 and even share the mechanicals, it is, however, superior in performance. Structured around a (aluminium-steel hybrid) trellis frame painted in a bright shade of green, the escooter looks modern and contemporary. There is a certain ‘clean’ look to it; the fluid body lines and bold curves presenting it with a sleek form. The escooter flaunts a full-LED head lamp and is flush-fitted within a slim apron. The front suspension is made of telescopic forks, and the braking system consists of a 200mm dia disc at front and a 190mm dia disc at the rear.
Flaunting a seven-inch waterproof touchscreen with built-in data connection and Google Maps, integrated with Ather’s own navigation interface, the 450 rides on 12-inch dia wheels. If the two large floating panels form the sides, the escooter boasts of a full-LED tail lamp and LED turn indicators. Doubling up as an instrument panel that indicates speed, distance travelled, time, average speed, range and more, the touchscreen also facilitates navigation to nearby charging points. While the scooter stats and battery charge status could be availed on the phone app, coupled with both Apple and Android platforms, the escooter has been equipped with a total of 46 sensors, which include a six-axis IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) that allows it to develop algorithms, and to understand the riding style as well as improve the riding range. Combining style with practicality — there is an underseat storage area that is among the most spacious when compared to the current battery of gearless scooters. The 450 also comes with built-in connectivity for software updates over the air.
Good mid-range pull
Producing 5.4kW of peak power and 20.5Nm of torque, the 450, to back out of a parking spot, comes with park assist. It helps the escooter reverse at a speed of three kmph. Disengage the kill switch and turn the key on. For a feel, there’s a starter button. It gets the instrument touchscreen to activate, and is an indication that the escooter is ready to move. The process is accompanied by a chime. A gentle twist of the throttle, and the 450 sets off. The zero-rpm torque characteristics ensure good acceleration. The 450 feels sporty and speeds beyond 50kmph are quickly achieved and overtaking is easy in city traffic. Not seeming to change its behaviour even with a pillion rider, the 450 boasts of a good mid-range pull. It is at the top that it lacks in energy, and that is again in comparison to the conventional gearless machines. Supported by a lithium-ion battery pack (mounted in an aluminium casing within the floorboard with an IP67 water-resistance rating) and the 5.1kW brushless (frame-mounted IP66 rated) motor, the escooter routes power to the rear wheel via a two-step reduction ratio and an exposed belt drive.
Claiming to deliver a realistic range of 75km in Eco mode and 60km in Power mode, the 450 takes 2 hours 40 minutes to reach 80 per cent mark. The 100 per cent recharge mark is achieved in 4 hours 18 minutes. Supplied with a home charger for free during the initial period, the 450 is agile to ride. Weighing 118kg, the escooter, with a monoshock rear suspension, has a stiff edge to its ride. The regenerative braking system is hydraulic and effective. Convenient, practical and effortless, the 450 could be easily chosen over a conventional 125cc gearless scooter. There is a catch however, and it is about the need to have a supporting infrastructure (in Bengaluru, Ather Energy has installed a few charging stations and plans to have more by year end).
Pros: Stylish, competent, convenient, practical, effortless, fast
Cons: Lack of supporting infra a limiting factor, range, price