Ather 450 e-Scooter: The complete charging guide | Charging Time & Cost of Ownership


Ather Energy – an Indian electric mobility startup announced their smart, connected and made-in-India full electric scooter in 2014, that finally came to the roads in 2018. The company's flagship model Ather 450 came out with a pleasant surprise of more range and performance than what they originally promised in 2014.

Have you just bought an Ather 450 e-scooter? or looking to buy sometime soon? Understanding your vehicle’s charging characteristics is crucial for getting the most out of your EV ownership. Thus, you should read this comprehensive guide on charging the vehicle.

Key specifications of Ather 450

Ather-key-charging-specifications

The Ather 450 has a powerful 5.4 kW electric motor with a top speed of 80km/h and an acceleration from 0-40km/h in 3.9 seconds.

The scooter has a Lithium Ion battery pack that gives a range of 75km in single charge. Different charging options and charging durations are extensively explained below. The battery is rated for a life of 3-4 years or 50,000 km. Ather provides a 3-year unlimited mileage warranty on the battery. (so possibly, you may have to change the battery after 3-4 years)

Ather not only provides the e-scooter, but also an innovative charging infrastructure. Like Tesla, the company offers DC fast charging stations where users can charge the battery at a speed of 1km per minute. Ather also offers its users in India an unlimited free power, for certain period.

All the parameters of the vehicle can be found from the official brochure from Ather.


How to Charge Ather 450 | Charging port location & Connector type

Ather 450 e-scooter features a custom charging connector. It just looks like a standard Type-2 connector, but it is not! So, do not try to use your 4 wheeler’s type-2 charging cable on Ather electric scooters. 

Ather-eScooter-charging-port-connector

Ather’s charging port can be easily spotted - located just close to the key. Just plug-in the cable and the charging should start immediately (make sure that the vehicle key is in ‘off’ position).

Good to know: Once the charging session starts, you can just take the vehicle key and leave the place; there is no need worry about the theft of charging cable. Because the charging cable gets locked to the vehicle as soon as charging starts.


How long does it take to charge a Ather 450

The Ather scooter can be charged at any possible charging point, be it from a regular wall sockets at home / office, dedicated charging stations, AC public charging stations on the streets or at DC fast chargers. Charging at different locations/ chargers take different time to charge. 


Ather-escooter-charging-options


Option#1: Using the portable charger

Ather scooters can be charged using the travel portable chargers This charger does not come free with the vehicle, you need to buy separately at around Rs. 5,600.
 

Charger used

Input

Output

 Charging time

Portable charger is connected to home / office wall socket (5A)

AC: 230 V x 5A

DC: 59V x 12A

 Approx 4 hours


 Option#2: Use Ather home charger

Ather provides a free home charging station to all their customers. Though the charging station is free, you need to pay for the installation of the station, which comes around Rs. 1,800 (includes all taxes and labour costs).

Charging configuration

 Charging time

Charging from Ather’s home charger

   0-80% of battery    : 4 hours 30 min

   0-100% of battery : 5 hours 15 min


This charging station sends AC current to the scooter; and the on-board charger inside the scooter converts this AC into DC current, acceptable by the battery. Due to the onboard charger capability, this option of charging is marginally slower than the option#1 of portable charger.

Option#3: Use Ather public fast charger (DC)

The public DC charger looks same as the home AC charger but is much faster. It takes about an hour and 15 minutes to fully charge, at an average rate of 1 km/minute. (Note: charging happens a bit faster when the battery capacity is lower and slows down while reaching about 70% of battery).

Charging configuration

 Charging time

Charging from Ather’s public DC charger

   1 hours 15 min

 


Option#4: Use portable charger on 3rd party public charging stations (BHARAT AC-001)

Ather has committed to create a wide charging network across the country, however it is not practical to install charging stations in every city & street by a single company. Don’t we see Tesla vehicles using other network charge points even though Tesla provides free charging at their own chargers – same as Ather ? So, it is obvious that the Ather vehicle drivers would also be facing situations / need to charge at third party charging stations- at least when there is no Ather charger nearby or it’s queued -up. 

Ather-charging-options-time-cost-2
To charge Ather e-scooter at other public Bharat AC charging stations, the driver would need the portable charger (mentioned in the option#1). One end of the Ather portable charging cable connects to the Bharat AC charger and the other end plugs-in to the e-scooter. Once the cable is plugged in, you can start charging using the particular charge point operator’s RFID card or mobile app.


What is the best charging station for Ather 450 e-Scooters?

Each of the above charging options have its own purpose. As long as Ather provides free charging on their network or if you have Ather free home chargerm, it is always beneficial to use them. However, when there is no Ather charger accessible or when Ather starts invoicing for charging, you may consider looking for the best Bharat EV AC Charger (BEVC-AC001) nearby.

Below table may quickly summarize when to use what charging option.

Charger Option

Why to use (advantages)

Drawbacks

#1. Portable charger

·        Convenient to carry wherever you go/ travel

·        Can be plugged-in to any home /office wall sockets

·        Not water/dust resistant; you can leave the charger unattended/overnight in open space.

#2. Ather home charging station (AC wallbox)

·        Comes free with every vehicle

·        Designed for outdoor use, can withstand light rain/ open air use.

·        Not everyone (house) will have the space and outside electricity connection to install a wall charger.

#3. Ather public charging station (DC fast)

·        Fastest charging option

·        Available free (at least for time being)

·        Very few charging stations available, not close to many.

#4. Non-Ather public charging station (Bharat AC001)

·        You may choose any nearby network; easily available.

·        Ather charging port is custom made, so you’ll have to carry the portable charger to plug-in to Bharat AC socket.


How much does it cost to charge Ather 450 e-Scooter?

The cost of charging depends on many parameters such as the city where you charge, location where you charge time of charge (day/night/off-peak hours), and Charge Point operator (CPO) and/or E-Mobility service provider (EMP) you use…etc.

Below are some typical scenario costs involved in charging the Ather 450 e-scooter.

Charger Option

Assumption

Drawbacks

#1. Portable charger at home

Electricity per unit = Rs. 6

Rs. 14.40

(2.4 kWh x Rs. 6)

#2. Ather home charging station (AC wallbox)

Electricity per unit = Rs. 6

Rs. 14.40

(2.4 kWh x Rs. 6)

#3. Ather public charging station (DC fast)

It is free for time-being; but Ather indicates future pricing of Rs.25 per 30 minutes

Free for now; but in near future min of Rs.50

(Full charge takes about    1 hours 15 min; have considered 1-hour rate here)

#4. Non-Ather public charging station (Bharat AC001)

assuming start Price = Rs. 15 

Price per kWh = Rs. 12

Rs. 43.8

[15 + (2.4 x 12)]

Note: Above costs are only an indication (max). The calculation is made for charging battery from 0-100% full capacity; but in practice, you’ll never wait till the battery to go to 0%, so the actual charging rates can be a bit lower than what is indicated above. 


Is it economical to drive Ather 450 e-Scooter?

There’re numerous parameters such as – total distance (km) you travel everyday, electricity/ petrol/diesel; prices, yearly regular as well ad-hoc maintenance, insurance premiums, battery replacement after 50km wear down, above all the initial buying cost…and many other involved in calculating total cost of ownership. 

So, consider below calculation as the ‘best effort’ of calculating costs in 5 years – for Ather 450 compared to similar petrol scooter. Numbers are not guaranteed; you must always do your own due diligence before making actual purchase decision.

Description

Ather 450

(charge at home; Rs.6 /unit)

Similar Petrol scooter

(ex: Honda Activa; Rs.80/lit)

Cost of buying (A)

Rs. 1.25 lakhs

Rs. 62,000

Mileage

(Range / Total electricity consumption for a single charge)

 31.25 km/unit

 (= 75 km /2.4 units)

50 km/litres

Cost of electricity (or) fuel per km

(Fuel rate /mileage)

Rs. 0.19

(=6 / 31.25)

Rs.  1.6

(=80 / 50)

Cost of charging/fuel in 5 years (B)

(assumed 12,000 km per year)

Rs. 11,400

(= 5 x 12000 x 0.19)

Rs. 96,000

(= 5 x 12000 x 1.6)

Yearly maintenance in 5 years (C)

Rs. 60, 000

(for a battery change possibly on 4th year (@50,000 km)

Rs. 12,000

(Free service on 1st year; assumed Rs.3000 afterward)

Total spend in 5 years (A+B+C)

Rs. 1,91,400

(1.2L+11,400+60k)

Rs. 1,70,000

(62k+96k+12k)

 As you see, the total cost of ownership (TCO) of Ather 450 e-Scooter is till expensive than owning a similar Honda Activa Petrol scooter. However, the calculation will change a lot if you consider the below:

  • Petrol price of Rs.80 is considered for the above calculation – which is set to only increase every day. So possibly, Ather may break-even the costs soon.
  • Another point to look at is the major maintenance cost on Ather is Rs.60,000 for a battery replacement on the 4th or 5th year.
    • Indian battery market is still early, so in the coming years when the volume ramps-up, this battery cost may go down as low as Rs.40, 000 (according to Ather’s estimation).
    • If you decide to drive the e-Scooter as long as it drives and trash it (possibly in 6-7 years), this huge cost of Rs. 60,000 will disappear๐Ÿ˜Š. Calling to trash your vehicle in 7 years may sound crazy, but it is realistic as most of the new generation consumers rarely use the same vehicle for more than 7 years.

In short: Theoretical calculations of today may not be in favour of Ather e-Scooter. However, in the near terms when the battery prices go down further (in parallel Petrol prices go up), owning an electric scooter will be much more beneficial.


Hope this guide answered all your questions about charging Ather 450 e-Scooter. Did you miss anything? Have any specific question? Let me know, I’d be glad to answer.

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