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Home-grown Electric vehicle (EV) startup Ather Energy has been making efforts to expand its business by trying to get into the current favourite rental vehicles sector. Short term rentals are a fast-growing trending among millennials.

Ather is an Indian electric vehicle company founded by Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain in 2013 that manufactures electric scooters under two different models: the 340 and 450 alongside electric vehicle charging infrastructure called AtherGrid.

The ever rising cost of living in India makes it difficult for consumers to buy vehicles and thus the concepts of short and long term renting of vehicles have been on the rise in the recent past, with companies like Bounce and VOGO having received significant investor interest, one of the recent funding being the 10 crore bridge investment made by Flipkart founder and former CEO, Sachin Bansal under his new company, BAC Acquisitions.

Startups in the rental space, such as Zoomcar, Drivezy and Bounce have been providing self-driven cars and bikes on rent while the likes of Rentomojo and Furlenco deal in furniture and appliance rental.

Several car makers including Hyundai and Skoda also run yearly subscriptions to cope up with declining sales in passenger vehicles with the concept gradually picking up across the top 10 cities in India.

 Ather in the game

Striving to succeed in this path, India’s first electric scooter manufacturer Ather Energy has begun the renting model to see the capacity of leasing for its green scooter brand, hence choosing Chennai to test the opportunity in long term rental segment.

The minimum period of leasing is 12 months and includes all maintenance, insurance, connectivity and software updates with a fully refundable deposit at the end of the contract.

Enthusiasts and early adopters can lease Ather 450 electric scooter at a monthly subscription of Rs 2,230.

Factors leading to Ather’s rentals entry

  • In the Indian scooter market Ather is the most expensive one. Its model Ather 340 is priced at Rs Rs 1.09 lakh while Ather 450 costs around 1.25 lakh. Thus renting is chosen to vet more business.
  • Pricing and performance are key factors that are considered before buying a vehicle. Leasing would eliminate these thoughts from the consumer’s mind.
  • Traditionally, ownership of vehicles was attached to pride but now the young generation has been showing decent appetite towards renting instead.
  • Owning a car or bike requires significant investment, leasing gives a viable option to own a vehicle for short and long term rental.

Its yet to be seen whether the Tiger Global-backed hardware startup would succeed in Chennai.

The success of the company in top 5 cities depends on the people’s response to Ather and other automobile manufacturers’ subscription push over the next 18-24 months.

Though Ather Energy’s choice to adopt the leasing model to create buzz towards green mobility and its brand is a good step.

Authored by Soham Angal , Content Developer(StartUp Monk)

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CIN- U74999DL2019PTC347107