This IIT graduate Promises to Take You on a Ride to the Future
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India being a startup hub has come up with multiple innovative products that have the power to disrupt the industry as a whole but this one start-up has geared itself towards changing the two-wheeler market completely with his smart electric scooter S340. “Let’s build something which is not a compromise to your petrol vehicle,” envisions Tarun Mehta, Founder, Ather Energy. Mehta takes us back to his heydays at Indian Institute of Technology Madras way back in 2009, where this futuristic idea was born. Gradually, after completing his engineering degree in 2013, Mehta plunged into creating a new generation of smart electric vehicle. However, to transform a humble two-wheeler into a smart electric scooter, you need more than meets the eye.
Accordingly, to build his dream machine, Mehta hired around 250 equally passionate professionals in the research and development team, which is perhaps the largest research team working on electric vehicle production in India. When professionals from vehicle designing to data science to plastic material experts come together to reimagine a two-wheeler, then you better hold your hearts and wait till the early next year for your new ride. The scooter would hit the top speed of 72 kilometers per hour and run faster than a petrol scooter at low maintenance cost.
Indeed, Mehta has given the two-wheeler market an edge wherein the scooter has a seven-inch touchscreen with a gigahertz processor and one gigabyte RAM that assists your navigation skills with Google Maps facility. Not just this, the smarty has an inbuilt theft-and-accident alert software that is trackable right from its smartphone app. S340 also has special ride sensors that record and tweaks the vehicle parameters like top speed, acceleration, battery usage, etc., based on the ride quality and usage. Mehta also intends to launch dedicated power stations for the vehicle by the early next year in cities like Bengaluru, Chennai and Pune. That too, the power station would charge up an entire scooter battery in an hour as simply as a mobile phone. Despite being smart, S340 will be available at an envious 1/8th cost of a petrol two-wheeler given the fact that there are no hassles of maintaining the engine or fuel tank. Mehta forecasts that gradually with the popularity and affordability of this product, the conventional petrol vehicles would become yet another vintage fancy by another seven-eight years.
(This article was first published in the August 2017 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)