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Ather Energy hosted its first customer event in Bengaluru, called the Ather Community Day. The event included a flurry of activities including new updates, community events and experiences, as well as Ather’s rider awards called ‘Ather Unlocked’. Knowing how biking festivals and community programmes have peaked in the past year, we were sure that this would be an interesting event.

As soon as one entered the venue, there was a timeline tunnel that laid out the journey of Ather Energy from its early days, all the way through its various milestones to today. Then there was the ‘colour my scooter’ booth, where people could add a bit of colour to the two scooters on display. There were a lot of colourful motifs and designs that had been added already, so we found a little empty patch on the scooter where we made our own unique mark.

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We were then directed to the ‘Town Square’ where the Ather Unlocked event was taking place. From what we saw, there were different award categories, like the most distance covered on the odometer, the most distance covered in a day, the most charging stations visited, and so on. Looking at the winning numbers made one thing certain, and that is the EV commuter space has been growing successfully and at a steady rate. It looks like the reliability factor of the brand has really opened up people’s minds.

On the occasion, Ather also rolled out AtherStack 5.0, its biggest software upgrade yet, bringing in a brand-new UI and unlocking new features. It now features Vector Maps, which gives the rider a very similar experience to what one would get while using Google Maps. The updated Maps also bring a live traffic view and a navigation view, showing the rider’s perspective. The other major feature update comes in the form of AutoHold, which uses sensors and algorithms to stop and hold the scooter in place, even on very sharp inclines.

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Ather also announced its new Battery Protect scheme, which extends the battery warranty to five years or 60,000 km from the prior three-year policy. Battery Protect covers battery failures and also guarantees a minimum of 70 per cent state-of-health for the battery at the end of five years. Battery Protect now comes as standard on the 450X (three + two years), while 450 Plus owners can buy the additional two-year warranty for Rs 6,999, although Tarun Mehta, the co-founder and CEO of Ather Energy stated that he is confident that it may not even be necessary, owing to the reliability of the battery component.

Ather also introduced four new colour options to its 450 lineup, which include True Red, Cosmic Black, Salt Green, and Lunar Grey. The 450 models now also get a wider, more ergonomic and more comfortable seat, which is compatible with all generations of the 450. Ather further introduced Neighborhood Charging, which provides access to charging points in shared private spaces such as apartment complexes and office buildings, and can be used to charge any EV at a rate of 3.3 kW.

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Ather also unveiled a new front storage solution called the Frunk, which offers ‘Quick Access’ storage, without compromising the legroom of riders. It has a 14-litre capacity, with an additional waterproof compartment for mobile phones, and can hold up to 5 kg weight. It is made of 100 per cent polyester ripstop material, and is water and abrasion resistant. But, it’s not just accessories that Ather had, as it dropped the first of its own line of apparel with illustrations inspired by the scooter, the people behind making it, and the people riding it.

On the whole, the Ather Community Day event appeared to have been a huge success within the owners’ community, and even for the company itself, to be able to portray such numbers in the flesh. Being the first of its kind for the EV company, the event saw a high turnout and seemed to have been able to strengthen the community to a great extent.