Hero MotoCorp to invest INR 420 cr more in EV startup Ather Energy, Auto News, ET Auto

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 Hero MotoCorp will unveil its first Electric Vehicle (EV) in the month of March this year.
Hero MotoCorp will unveil its first Electric Vehicle (EV) in the month of March this year.

New Delhi: Country’s largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp on Friday announced a new investment of up to INR 420 crore in the Bengaluru-based electric scooter startup Ather Energy.

“The company’s board has approved the investment in one or more tranches. Prior to the proposed investment, Hero MotoCorp’s shareholding in Ather Energy was 34.8% (on a fully diluted basis). Post the investment, the shareholding will increase and the exact percentage will be determined upon completion of the capital raise round by Ather,” the company said in a statement.

“The company is also exploring collaborations with Ather Energy in various spheres, such as charging infrastructure, technology and sourcing,” it added.

Hero MotoCorp has been a part of Ather’s growth story since 2016, when it first invested as a part of Series B funding, and the company’s shareholding in the EV startup was 31.27%.

In July 2020, the two-wheeler maker invested INR 84 crore (US$11million) in the startup, when its shareholding in Ather Energy grew to 34.58%.

Swadesh Srivastava, Head – Emerging Mobility Business Unit, Hero MotoCorp, said that the company is working on a variety of emerging mobility solutions.

“We were one of the early investors in Ather Energy and have continued to expand our association over the years. 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,” he said.

Hero MotoCorp will unveil its first Electric Vehicle (EV) in March this year. The vehicle is being developed at the company’s R&D set-up – the Center of Innovation and Technology (CIT) in Jaipur and the Tech Center Germany (TGG) near Munich – and will be produced at its manufacturing facility at Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh.

The two- wheeler maker has also tied up with the Taiwanese firm Gogoro Inc to launch Hero-branded two-wheelers powered by Gogoro’s battery sharing infrastructure which would be available in many cities in India.

This will allow the company to play in both the spaces and offer its customers a flexible charging ecosystem with both, fixed charging and swapping options.

The two-wheeler maker said it is also working towards building the entire EV ecosystem – from products to technology, to sales, service, customer care, operations, and innovation.

“Sustainability and Emerging Mobility are priority areas for Hero MotoCorp and the company continues to enhance its efforts in this direction,” it said.

Meanwhile, Hero MotoCorp is stuck in a legal tangle with electric scooter maker Hero Electric. Vijay Munjal and his son Naveen Munjal, who own Hero Electric, have taken cousin Pawan Munjal, CMD of two-wheeler market leader Hero MotoCorp, to court. The point of contention – the use of the Hero brand name for Hero MotoCorp’s soon-to-debut EV range.

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