Charger Types - Ather offers three charging options with the 450X - two home/office charging solutions and one public charging station. The former two are slow charging options while the latter one is of the fast charging grade. These include the bundled portable charger, an optional Ather Dot charger for home/office and the Ather Grid fast chargers.
Portable Charger - The portable charger and the Ather Dot are essentially slow chargers that take around three and half hours to charge from 0-80% and another two hours of trickle charge for the remaining 81-100%. The former can be plugged into a 15A socket or any 5A three-pin socket, after attaching the supplied 3-pin socket.
Ather Dot - The Ather Dot is an optional home/office charger that can be purchased at an additional cost of Rs 5,475 plus installation (Rs 1800). It is designed for those consumers who have a designated parking space in their housing complex or at the office premises. It is a fixed plug-and-play wall-mounted unit, which eliminates the need of carrying a portable charger when you wish to charge at home or office.
Ather Grid - And finally, you have the Ather Grid fast chargers with a capacity of 7kWh. This is a network of fast chargers that are strategically placed around the city so that your Ather doesn’t run out of juice. Ather claims a 0-100% charge time of under one and half hours. But, there’s a slight catch here, which we'll talk about a little later in this report.
Now, having used the EV for over 1000km, we can safely say that for 95 per cent of the use cases, you’d be fine with slow charging the 450X with the bundled portable charger. It’s only when you encounter an emergency situation where you’ve run out of juice or if you plan to take the scooter to a place where you know you won’t find a charging option for the return journey, that is when you’ll ever need the Ather Grid fast charger. And like modern smartphones, Ather advises using the fast charging option only during emergencies, as frequent usage could hamper the battery health in the long run.
We of course tested the charge timings of the Ather Grid fast chargers. The catch here is that if you charge the scooter at any of the Ather Space or Ather Go dealerships, you’d get the full 7kWh output of the fast charger, and the scooter will be charged in the claimed one hour 25 minutes time. However, when using the third-party Ather Grid fast chargers at a hotel or a mall, we noticed that the chargers don’t offer the full 7kWh output. You still get your EV fast-charged but the time taken from 0-100% is roughly around two and half hours. When we probed Ather about this issue, the company claimed it to be an issue with the grid capacity of the third-party vendor.
Limitations – All said and done, there’s one more limitation of owning the Ather 450X. Ather uses a proprietary connecter for their EVs, which is different from the CCS Type 2 standard specified by ARAI for DC fast charging. What this means is that you can't charge your Ather at any other public charging station other than Ather Grid. That said, Ather has opened the patent for their charging connecter. So, if any OEM or third-party vendor uses the same connector in future, only then can you charge your EV at a charging station other than Ather Grid.
Another shortcoming of the Ather 450X is the plastic flap/lid over the charging socket. One, the quality and finish are low rent, and two, it isn't lockable or has any auto-retention of sorts. So, every time you are done charging the scooter, you forget to close the lid.