World’s largest two-wheeler maker Hero Motocorp on 14 January has announced a new investment in the Bengaluru-based electric vehicle company Ather Energy.
In a press release, Hero stated that it will invest up to Rs 420 crore in the EV maker after the company’s board approved the move.
Prior to the proposed investment, Hero MotoCorp owned 34.8 per cent of Ather Energy (on a fully diluted basis). Following the investment, Ather's shareholding will grow and the exact shareholding will be established after the capital raise round is completed.
According to the news release, Swadesh Srivastava, Head - Emerging Mobility Business Unit, Hero MotoCorp said: “In keeping with our vision 'Be the Future of Mobility', we are 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,” Srivastava noted.
It stated that through a variety of organic and inorganic efforts, Hero MotoCorp is addressing the rising mobility potential in a holistic manner. According to the company, it is also looking at partnering with Ather Energy in a variety of areas, including charging infrastructure, technology and sourcing.
Hero is planning to debut its EV in March of this year. The vehicle is being developed at the company's R&D facilities in Jaipur and Munich — the Center of Innovation and Technology (CIT) and the Tech Center Germany (TGG), respectively — and will be manufactured at the company's production site in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, the news release added.
According to the company, “Sustainability and Emerging Mobility is a priority area for Hero MotoCorp and the company continues to enhance its efforts in this direction.”
Additionally, it stated that Hero MotoCorp is trying to establish the whole EV ecosystem — from goods to technology, sales, service, customer care, operations and innovation — through its investments and partnerships with external partners including Ather Energy and Taiwanese company Gogoro Inc.
However, according to an analysis, in December last year, overall high speed-electric two-wheeler sales in the country were 24,725 units, representing a 10 per cent year-over-year increase and a 444 per cent increase in registrations.
The top 10 players in this market that included Vijay and Naveen Munjal's Hero Electric and Ather Energy along with Okinawa Autotech, Ampere Vehicles, Pure EV and others accounted for 94 per cent of all registrations in December 2021.
However, it should be noted that currently, the Munjal family is battling over the "Hero" brand name. A complaint has been filed in the Delhi High Court against Pawan Munjal, the chairman of Hero MotoCorp, seeking an injunction against Hero MotoCorp from using the brand name for its upcoming electric two-wheeler products.
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