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Ather 450X Long Term Review: Real-world Range and Charging Report

18 April 2022, 08:41 AM Ajinkya Lad

Introduction

Ather 450X Right Front Three Quarter

It’s been three months since I’ve been using the Ather 450X as my daily rider for work and personal commutes. And in this duration, we’ve crossed 1000km on the Odo. Now, we know this isn’t a huge number considering the other long-termers in the BikeWale garage. But, considering this is the only EV we have, and the limitations with the everyday use cases, this is a significant milestone nonetheless.

Ather 450X Left Front Three Quarter

Previously, we have told you about the Ather 450X and also told you how it performs in the city. You can read about it HERE and HERE. In this report though, we’ll talk about the real-world range and actual charge timelines with the various chargers available.

Real-world Range

Ather 450X TFT Touchscreen Instrument Cluster

True Range – Ather claims a real-world range of anywhere between 50km to 85km on a full charge, depending on the mode selected. For instance, the claimed range in ‘Eco’ mode is 85km, while that in the ‘Ride’ mode is 70km. The Sport and Warp modes deliver a claimed range of 60km and 50km respectively.

Ather 450X TFT Touchscreen Instrument Cluster

Much like how efficiency is directly proportional to throttle inputs in an ICE vehicle, the same is applicable to EVs as well. Now, the Ather 450X runs an advanced battery management system that’s designed to deliver optimum performance without hampering the range. And we are happy to report that the Ather delivers the claimed numbers, give or take 5-10km.

Ather 450X

Ather 450X

  • Mileage - Owner Reported80 kmpl
  • Kerb Weight108 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 1,40,060

Ather 450X Right Rear Three Quarter

In the real world, the scooter runs anywhere between 75-80km in Eco mode and around 60-70km in the Ride mode. And, that too with a mix of moderate to heavy throttle inputs. That said, what’s commendable though, is that despite whacking open the throttle in Sport or Warp mode, the drop in the remaining range isn’t more than 10 per cent of the claimed range. So, in an ideal situation, you get anywhere between 50-55km in Sport mode and around 40-45km in Warp mode. And yes, we have been able to extract more than the claimed range occasionally, but that’s only possible when you are extremely cautious with the throttle and you are in no hurry to reach the destination.

Ather 450X TFT Touchscreen Instrument Cluster

Negatives – The Ather 450X is one of those premium EVs that is well put together, and manages to deliver what it claims. But, of course, it isn’t flawless. For starters, the claimed range, although decent, isn’t very high and you start feeling the ‘range anxiety’ every time you plan to do something over and above the usual commute. And two, being an EV, there are a lot of internal components that remain ‘switched-on’ even if the ignition is switched off. So, we are looking at an average discharge of around 7-8 per cent over 24 hours even when the scooter isn’t in use.

Ather 450X TFT Touchscreen Instrument Cluster

This is something that we faced as well when the scooter ran out of juice when parked for two weeks, and had to be towed to the nearest charging station. The only option available is to ‘shut down' the scooter, when not in use for a week or more. But, Ather cautions you to avoid this, so as to keep the battery health in check.

Charging The Scooter

Ather 450X Electric Bike Charging Input Plug

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 450X Electric Bike Charging Input Plug

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.

Ather 450X Right Side View

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.

Ather 450X Electric Bike Charging Input Plug

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.

What's Next?

Ather 450X Left Rear Three Quarter

Now that we’ve told you about how the 450X rides in the city, its real-world range and the charge timelines, we plan to take it out on a weekend ride. The objective of this trip will be to see if we can plan a 2-day short ride with the Ather 450X, how it performs with the task at hand, and whether it faces any challenges. Stay tuned.

Vehicle Log

Make – Ather Energy

Model – 450X

Odometer – 1013km

Km this month – 381km

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi

Gallery

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