Hero MotoCorp Ltd. is investing Rs 420 crore in electric scooter maker Ather Energy, even as India’s largest two-wheeler maker readies its own product for the local EV market.
The company’s board has approved the investment in one or more tranches, according to a regulatory filing Friday. Prior to the proposed investment, Hero MotoCorp held a 34.8% stake in the Bengaluru-based startup. “Post the investment, the shareholding will increase and the exact shareholding will be determined upon completion of the capital raise round by Ather.”
This is the fifth time Hero MotoCorp, which has yet to enter the electric two-wheeler market, is investing in Ather Energy. Its first investment was back in 2016 when it became a strategic partner. In October 2021, Hero MotoCorp became the first company to adopt Ather Energy’s fast-charging technology for its own electric scooter slated to be launched in March.
The Delhi-based company said it is exploring collaborations with Ather Energy in various spheres, such as charging infrastructure, technology and sourcing. It has also tied up with Taiwan-based battery swapping company Gogoro Inc, and said it is working towards “building the entire EV ecosystem”.
“We were one of the early investors in Ather Energy and have continued to expand our association over the years,” said Swadesh Srivastava, head, emerging mobility business unit, at Hero MotoCorp. “We are excited to see the growth of Ather Energy in recent years. Our aim is to expand the Hero MotoCorp brand promise and make EV ownership a convenient, hassle-free, and rewarding experience for customers across the world.”
The electric two-wheeler space is heating up with startups and traditional automotive companies launching products.
Ola Electric, which has claimed to have built the world's largest two-wheeler factory, has started delivering its first vehicle Ola S1 Pro. Bounce has also unveiled its scooter, Infinity, which works on a battery-swapping model.
Battery swapping is a technique that consists of swapping a rundown battery with a fully charged one. This would replace recharging, a technique most OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) follow, including electric carmaker Tesla Inc. Swap technology eliminates the need for charging the vehicle for long hours, mirroring the refuelling done in petrol vehicles.