Hero MotoCorp Invests Millions in Electric Two Wheelers
BANGALORE, India – The country’s largest manufacturer of powered two-wheelers, Hero MotoCorp invested in smart electric two-wheeler start-up Ather Energy. Hero MotoCorp obtains a 30% share of Ather Energy with an initial investment of 24.5 million euro. The funding marks the third round of investments in Ather Energy, which is building the S340 – India’s first smart, electric scooter. Previous rounds of investments in the company were by Tiger Global; and Sachin and Binny Bansal, promoters of India’s largest online shopping portal Flipkart, in their personal capacity.
Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Managing Director & CEO of Hero MotoCorp commented on this investment that, “Hero MotoCorp intends to enhance its participation in the electric vehicle space by pursuing our own program in addition to partnering with Ather Energy. Ather Energy is the best start-up on India’s electric two-wheeler market and we firmly believe that they are on the way to become one of the leaders in India, potentially even globally. We are excited to be a strategic investor and see this as an important step in building the necessary system needed to support commercialization of electric vehicle in the country.”
In a 26 October 2016 meeting the Board of Directors of Hero MotoCorp approved a total investment of up 27.8 million euro, of which the immediate amount is 24.5 million euro.
Smart connected electric vehicles
Tarun Mehta, CEO and co-founder of Ather Energy stated that, “the investment is a strong validation of our product roadmap and technology capability, endorsed by one of the biggest automotive players. We believe smart connected electric vehicles are the future and in that India will be an important global player.”
High tech features
The capital will be used by Ather to sustain momentum in building a future-ready product platform, and to accelerate the infrastructure and ecosystem development around electric vehicles in India. Earlier this year, Ather unveiled the S340, an electric vehicle with a Lithium ion battery pack, top speed of 72 km/h and a range of 60 km. The scooter includes high tech features like on board navigation, pre-emptive diagnostics, remote configuration and personalized ride profiles through a touchscreen dashboard and a mobile app.
Previous investments in the company were done by Tiger Global as well as Sachin and Binny Bansal, promoters of India’s largest online shopping portal Flipkart.