Ather Energy, a frontrunner in the electric vehicle (EV) landscape, has declared its willingness to provide free assistance to other players in the EV space for the adoption of its charging connector. The company’s Chief Business Officer, Ravneet S Phokela, revealed that Ather Energy’s charging connector has been recognized as a standard by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), and the company is open to helping fellow original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) fast-track their journey toward adopting this standard.
“We have an IP on this (charging connector). We are talking to multiple OEMs and told them if you want to adopt it, we will help fast-track that journey,” stated Phokela.
Ather Energy is extending its support by offering its engineers to collaborate with other OEMs, ensuring a seamless transition without a steep learning curve. Phokela emphasized that Ather Energy’s objective is not to compete on the infrastructure front but to collaborate on the charging side and compete on the vehicle side. The company aims to expedite the harmonization of charging infrastructure across the EV industry.
In October this year, the BIS approved Ather Energy’s AC and DC combined charging connector as a standard for light electric vehicles (LEVs), including electric two- and three-wheelers, along with micro cars.
“We are not looking to charge money for this… If I take a larger philosophical view on this one, we do not want to compete on the infrastructure. We want to collaborate on the charging side and compete on the vehicle side. We want to fast-track the harmonisation of charging infrastructure,” added Phokela.
He clarified that the adoption of Ather’s charging connector is not mandatory for other OEMs, and it remains a flexible decision based on compatibility. The move towards a standardized charging connector is seen as a positive step to harmonize solutions in the industry.
Phokela highlighted the significance of having a standardized charging connector, noting that it encourages independent businesses to set up infrastructure and increases opportunities for charge point operators. Standardization also addresses a range of anxiety for customers and streamlines government incentives for charging infrastructure development.
Regarding Ather Energy’s plans for expanding the charging network, Phokela stated, “We have about 1,600 charging locations. We have very strong plans for growth over the next few years. We hope to get about 2,500 charging stations by March 2024.” He further indicated that the number could increase to about 5,000 in the next fiscal year.