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Ather Energy has become one of the most popular EV makers in the country. The company has recently commissioned its new manufacturing facility in Hosur, Tamil Nadu. We spent some time at their new facility to understand processes involved in the manufacturing of the brand's Ather 450X and the 450 Plus electric scooters.
Starting with the plant's built-up area, it spans to over 123,000 sq. ft. The entire plant is divided into various sections such as raw material storage, testing of raw materials, pre-assembly area, temperature-controlled cell storage for the battery, the 37-bay assembly line and battery manufacturing area; among others.
The maximum manufacturing capacity of electric scooters and battery packs are 1.1 lakh units and 1.2 lakh units, respectively. Starting with the production capacity, at the time of our visit, it was running a single shift with 90 scooters being rolled out per day. Each scooter rolled out of the production line in 4 minutes. However, each scooter spends around 280 minutes in production line starting from raw materials.
Staring with manufacturing, the facility has a storage area for the raw materials coming in from various vendors and suppliers across various parts of the country. Ather stated that over 90 per cent of the product is localized with cells for the battery being imported from Korea.
These raw materials are then tested sample-wise for defects. The sample batch undergoes rigorous testing ahead of its journey on the actual production line. Once the raw materials are sorted out, it enters the pre-assembly area where the electric motor, battery pack, front suspension and tyres are bolted to the frame.
The half-assembled body then moves to the 37-bay assembly line, which is being run using 70 people. Bays 34 to 37 are reserved for quality testing after the scooter is fully assembled and exits from 33.
The defective scooter that does not pass the quality test will move to the correction shop, where all the errors will be rectified. However, to minimize the error, the manufacturing unit also employs an ongoing quality check at the assembly line.
Once the scooter passes the first phase of testing, it enters into the phase-2 of testing, which is a dyno run. After the passing the dyno run, the scooter enters the third phase of testing, which is the (PDI) pre-delivery inspection. After successful PDI, the test rider at the facility will complete the testing of the scooter by taking on-road for real-world test scenarios.
Alongside the scooter assembly line is also the battery pack manufacturing line. The process uses hi-end robots to maintain accuracy for the production of battery packs. The manufacturing plant has two manufacturing lines for the production of battery packs.
There is zero effluent generated from the Ather Energy factory. Authorized recyclers handle all e-wastes, and there is zero water discharge because of inhouse STP & treated water circulation to flush & plantation.
The company tests the battery by charging and discharging the unit. The electric units are sent back to the power grid while the batteries are getting discharged. The facility also features connected technology and uses software JIRA for troubleshooting production lines.
Tarun Mehta, CEO & Co-founder Ather Energy, "It's been a great journey for us so far and the opening of this facility is truly a milestone for Ather. The consumer demand has increased by multiple folds and with us expanding to new markets, this state-of-the-art facility will cater to demand across the country."
He further added, "We are proud of the fact that we designed and built a product from scratch which is in line with the government's Make in India vision. We are thankful to the Tamil] Nadu government and their EV policies which have allowed us to have most of our supplier base in the State making us self reliant."
The company has also confirmed deliveries and presence across 27 cities in 15 states. (Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Coimbatore, Kolkata, Calicut, Ahmedabad, Mysore, Hubli, Jaipur, Indore, Panaji, Bhubaneshwar, Nasik, Surat, Chandigarh, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Guwahati, Nagpur, Noida, Lucknow, and Siliguri). Ather Energy is likely to expand to 40 cities by the end of 2021.
Thoughts About The Ather Electric Scooter Manufacturing Plant In Hosur
The scooter manufacturing plant is well-organized and uses efficient methods to produce maximum capacity. The scooters are extensively tested before they are loaded on to the trucks. The assembly line is capable of handling the production of various models at the same time, with strategies in place.