The manufacturer of an electric scooter in Bangalore has only been selling their first product – 450 – since the end of 2018, but they are already making significant strides with the new 450X. They call it the “super scooter”, and they’re not far from the mark. The story here is not about numbers, but rather about the whole way of having an EV. With the 450X, Ather transcends the purchase and subscription model.
You can choose between three subscription plans that determine which “alternative” to ride – Lite, Plus or Pro. I put those quotes there for a reason: no matter how much you choose, it’s the same scooter. Your registration plan determines whether you get 66km, 75km or 85km distance. With your extra monthly charge, you also receive continuous air updates and enhancements as they become available, as well as the installation of an unlimited warranty on the effectiveness of your battery. It’s a bit confusing, but I think it’s not worth it.
No wonder so many cars and new bikes have something connected. Ather also uses this ride data from all their customers to inform their decisions about future updates. For example, the new “Warp” mode on the 450X has been made available for all readings they have collected over six million miles in the included range. On the 450X, the 7-inch touch screen has been upgraded to 4G e sim for better connectivity, as well as Bluetooth and WiFi compatibility and Android desktop based OS, offering Google Maps and Spotify music.
It also works better than the previous iteration, or on the previous production side. The battery pack has been redesigned to accommodate 21700 cells as in Tesla. This gives the scooter a battery density and efficiency, while losing weight by 11kg, which is a powerful scooter already light. A non-removable 2.9kWh unit that charges less from 0-80 percent in 3.25 hours, or faster charging at the same level per hour. A 10-minute connection to a fast charger will give you about 15km of distance, which is what Ather thinks most owners will do to cover what happened. A 5A portable charging brick can be carried in the lower space as a last resort.
Warp mode replaces the old Sport scooter mode. The 450X can now produce up to 27Nm of torque. That’s as much torque as a 250cc motorcycle from a scooter measured against 110cc peers. Runs from 0-60 in 6.5 seconds smaller. Try to buy a gasoline motorcycle that does just that!
The torque is seamless and continuous, making the 450X spinning fun. You will not get the full 85km distance to do that. There is an Eco mode for that. What is noteworthy here is that Ather quotes their numbers, which are actually calculated to load 175kg. That’s the passenger, the pound and the gas cylinder, they say
The 450X is also a good carrier. Assist is a low center of gravity (the battery is under your feet), reduced weight and strong engineering. It sounds dirty, fast but not dim. It’s completely natural, from motorcycle to 450X, to install warp mode and just do it. The pre-production model we were traveling with has some skin thinning problems, but it should be focused on the production models. The pinch is really a star here. Very sensitive, but easy to measure. It is entirely possible to make figure-8s at crawling speed, with one hand. And the best part is that this can be changed using software updates. For example, the 450X has renewable braking, but it is not yet available. But it will get there, and it will just happen on your Ather motorcycle unknowingly
Ather aims for the 450X to be an idle motorcycle, and I think they succeeded. It has the right distance, excellent performance and bonus features that you may not find elsewhere. The 450X will be available in 10 cities by 2020, with fast charging networks where they are sold.
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