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Ather from IIT Madras Lab to making 1800 crores 


Ather is one of the pioneers in the Indian EV space. However, now the majority of the EV space is conquered by Ola Electric.

So, Indians do not know that the Ather is one of the early players in the Indian EV space. This company officially started making scooters in 2013. But it started way back in 2009. When Ather founder Tarun Mehta was in his 2nd year of engineering at IIT Madra.

This is the story of Ather.

Ather in IIT Madra Laboratory

Tarun Mehta is always passionate about working in the energy sector. So, he opted for energy optimization in the EV segment.

So, in his second year of engineering at IIT Madras, he started working on the EV battery. Then Tarun constantly innovates in the EV battery life.

He planned to start a battery refurbished business in the future. In early 2010 there were few EV users in India. So, Tarun Mehta thought to start a B2B and B2C business in the EV battery segment in India.

Bad Quality of EVs in India

Ather founder Tarun Mehta was extremely passionate about his work in EV battery. So, he started speaking with Indian EV users. However, the reply just made him surprised.

This was around 2009 to 2011 when many EV companies in India were importing electric scooters from China. So, Indian users had a lot of problems with the quality and specs of the scooters.

Many EVs could not last for the minimum range and top speed. Even the scooter was not capable of pulling two people in the scooter on the upstream roads of India. So, one needs to leave the scooter and walk through the upstream roads. This was the pathetic condition of Indian EV users.

So, Tarun Mehta went to OEMs to pitch his product. But even OEMs did not believe in the business plan and just rejected his idea.

It was the most disappointing time for the Ather founder Tarun Mehta.

Ather Story from battery to Scooter

Now Tarun Mehta understood that Indian customers hated the present EV model. Even he understood that Indian customers are waiting for high-performance EVs rather than inferior and low-priced ones.

So, Tarun Mehta and his friend Swapnil started building an EV model in the IIT Laboratory for testing purposes. It was in 2013 Feb, when Ather founder Tarun left his job and started pursuing his passion.

By the end of Oct 2013, he just fell in love with the EV scooter that he and his team had built. At this time, he decided to switch from battery to full-fledged EV scooter company.

However he started working on EV scooters in 2013 but it took another 3 years to launch their first EV scooter in 2016, However, their sales started to rise in 2018.

Ather innovation and research

Ather is one of the pioneers in the Indian EV space. It is almost spent every decade in the EV industry. It did not launch quickly just to capture Indian EV space just like OLA Electric did.

But Ather believed in the processes of constant innovation and research and development in the EVs.

So, it took a lot of time for the Ather the launch. Because Ather founder Tarun Mehta decided that the next EV Scooter should be of high performance rather than being a trashy one.

Ather claims some of the innovations like

  1. It is the first scooter in the world to have a screen dashboard
  2. It is the first EV to have Google map and Android integrated
  3. Fastest accelerated EV in the world
  4. Largest EV charging network in India with 1,500 charging stations
  5. Highest members in product development team almost 800 to 1000 engineers working towards innovation. Even outside India, other EV companies might have only 200 to 300 engineers working on product development.

However, most of the Ather users do not know about these milestones because Ather companies do not speak and give publicity.

Ather Revenue 2018 – 2023

2018-2019                     20 to 30 crores

2019-2020                     30 to 35 crores

2020 to 2021                 75 crores

2021 to 2022                 410 crores

2021 to 2023                 1800 crores

These are the staggering financial revenue reports of Ather from 2018 to 2022. We can see there is a huge increase in the revenue from 2021 to 2022 almost 4X. Then from 2022 to 2023 it’s over 5X.

In the first year of operation in 2018, Ather sold 1000 scooters in Koramangala, Bengaluru. Now in 2023, it sold 1 lakh EVs to Indian customers.

In this way, another story started in IIT Madras Lab to become India’s first Electric Vehicle company. It’s a great milestone for the Ather and also working towards bringing innovative and efficient EVs to Indian customers.

This company made 1800 crores in sales from IIT Madra Lab

Ather founder Taurn Mehta started his work on EV batter in the IIT Madras Laboratory during his second year.

In 2010, there were a lot of Indian EV companies selling China’s imported EVs to Indian customers.

So, Indian customers hated EVs and then Tarun Mehta thought to switch from battery to full-fledged EV scooter company in 2103.

With 3 years of intense research, Ather Launched its first model in 2016. But its sales started happening in 2018.

In 2018, Ather sold 1000 scooters from a single location at Koramangal, Bengaluru.

Fast Forward to 2023, Ather sold over 1 lakh EV scooters and made revenue of 1,800 crores.

Now Ather has the largest EV charging network with 1500 charging centres across India.

It has 800 to 1000 engineers working product development team. This is the highest in any EV company in the world.

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