Ather 450X review: everything you need to know before buying

Ather 450X
(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

With Tesla set to enter the country later this year, many thought that India will finally get the boost it needed to become a bigger electric vehicle market. But for anyone who has followed the space, that development is difficult to get excited about as it’s the two-wheeler category where the bigger ripples are expected. At the forefront of that EV movement is Bangalore-based Ather Energy.

In January 2020, it unveiled a new flagship scooter – the Ather 450X – while also announcing plans to expand to eight new cities beyond Bangalore and Chennai. This was a big deal as no premium electric scooter company had been so aggressive with its expansion across the country. While 2020 didn’t really go as planned, the startup did manage to avoid major delays and commence deliveries in most of the new markets. In fact, by the end of this year, it plans on expanding to a total of 27 cities.

So if you were considering buying an Ather 450X, or were just curious to know why this unknown product costs almost twice as much as an Activa, here’s everything you need to know about it.

Before we dive deeper, I’d like to set some context here, which will further explain my purchase decision and help you decide if it is worth splurging on one. 

Being an old follower of Ather Energy, I ordered my Ather 450X in early January 2020, weeks before it was even unveiled. I knew I was going to be in the market for a new two-wheeler in the future, but it wasn’t an urgent need as my current one (2009 Honda Stunner) was working just fine. My usage is pretty light, so the age-related performance depreciation of my bike was not a big issue. For the same reason, I was open to the idea of getting a scooter too, so that even my parents could ride it if needed. The light usage also meant that electric scooters were an option for me.

More than anything, I was looking for a vehicle that would feel fun and exciting everyday; something that I’d proudly take around. And in case you didn’t figure, I am also big on technology, so fancy features were something that I valued. 

Needless to say, I was not an average consumer looking to fulfil the need of a practically daily commuter. If that is you, and the above-mentioned factors don’t matter to you, then you’ll have many other options which are almost half the price. To put it in marketing terms, I was looking to satiate my esteem and self-actualization needs — a purchase that would raise heads everywhere it would go and allow me some bragging rights.

Of course, that didn’t mean that I’d go for the wackiest scooter available. It had to be a good and reliable vehicle to ride as well. But even once I had my mind set on EVs, it had to be a company that was trustworthy and would be around in the future. There are far too many electric vehicle startups around the world and in India which have made tall claims and set unrealistic price expectations (I have lost count of “Tesla killers''). The solution was to go for an offering from a manufacturer that has been operating for a few years now and has actually shipped products. Brownie points if it had a big investor onboard, just to know that it won’t disappear or go bankrupt.

Series 1

Ather 450X Series 1

(Image credit: Ather Energy)

All Ather 450X pre-orders placed before January 28, 2020 are eligible for the limited Edition Series 1 model, which has a different colourway and includes service subscription for a year.

Other smaller factors included some level of charging infrastructure, the ability to have a test-ride in Mumbai and majorly positive reviews. Lastly, there was a tiny environmental aspect.

By the end of this process, there weren’t many options left, which made me even more confident about my decision to go ahead with the Ather 450X. However, if the price is understandably a tough pill to swallow, you should look at the alternatives from Okinawa, Gemopai, Revolt, etc. Just like smartphones, the longer you wait, the more and better options you’ll have.

Ather 450X electric scooter


TrueRange: 85 km
Top speed: 80 km/h
Acceleration: 0-40 km/h in 3.3s
Battery capacity: 2.9 kWh
Motor power: 6 kW
Torque: 26 Nm
Charging: 1.45 km/minute
Boot space: 22L
Kerb weight: 108 kg
Features: 4G, navigation, IP65, reverse
Colours: Space Grey, Mint Green, White

Reasons to buy

Insane acceleration
Catchy design
Comfortable riding
App connectivity

Reasons to avoid

Range might be insufficient
Not ideal for short riders
Charging infrastructure

Ather 450X price 

There’s no beating around the bush: the Ather 450X is a premium product that costs almost 2x a regular ICE scooter. Since electric vehicles in India are subject to a couple of different subsidies and incentives, it gets difficult to understand how much its actual price is.

I’ll start by explaining Ather 450X price in Mumbai. Mine was pre-ordered last year against an advance of Rs 2,500. The ex-showroom price is Rs 1,61,726, followed by an RTO charge of Rs 868. Insurance by Go Digit (zero depreciation) costs another Rs 7,436, bringing the total on-road cost to Rs 1,70,030, inclusive of the FAME II subsidy of Rs 29,000. Mind you, that the exact price can vary by a bit due to other minor factors.

Maharashtra government also gives an additional Rs 5,000 subsidy, but you’ll have to apply for that, physically submit an application and wait for clearance. 

The actual on-road cost of the scooter will vary between states owing to the differences in the subsidies provided by the local government. For example, Ather 450X price in Delhi is almost Rs 15,000 lower than that of Mumbai.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Particulars with with an asterisk (*) are optional
Ex-showroomRs 1,61,726
RTORs 868
InsuranceRs 7,436
Charger installation*Rs 2,124
Service subscription*Rs 4,248/Rs 2,832 yearly
Connect subscription*Rs 1,770/Rs 2,832 yearly
Subsidy*-Rs 5,000

To reduce the sticker shock, Ather Energy also offers two financing options. Loans from IDFC First (11.65%) and Hero FinCorp (9.99%), and a 36-month lease via Autovert, at the end of which you can either retain the vehicle or return it to get your entire down payment back. For the duration of the lease, you’ll also get comprehensive insurance coverage as well as Ather Service Lite subscription.

If you have the cash but don’t know what will be more economical, here’s something you should consider. When you pay the entire amount upfront, you get the vehicle for a lower overall price without the hassle of regular installments. If your usage is going to be very heavy that it could depreciate the battery at an abnormal rate, or don’t want to own the 450X for more than three years for whatever reason, then the lease option makes more sense as you can exit with the money.

Then, there are a couple of optional costs. You can choose between a home charger (Ather Dot) or a portable one at no extra cost. The home charger installation costs Rs 2,124 (when done by the company) but can go higher based on the length of wiring needed from your meter box to your parking. Up to 5 metres is included, but that is unlikely to be enough for most buyers. The charger can be attached or hung on any wall or pillar, and the company also offers a pole of sorts for those who do not have a wall nearby (like an open parking). You can take the charger from your dealer and get it installed via your own electrician too. A proper manual will be provided for that.

Coming to deliveries, the timelines are currently very varied across cities. In Mumbai, it is down to about three-four weeks after payment, but only for the Space Grey variant. Deliveries for the White and Mint Green models will take a few more months for all regions.

Subscription plans   

Then there are also two subscription plans which can be used for some added connectivity features, and services. These packs are meant to reduce hassles over the course of your ownership. These are optional too, but highly recommended.

Ather Connect Lite (Rs 472 quarterly/ Rs 1,700 yearly) enables the on-board navigation and OTA updates for new features. Essential fixes will be made available to even those who do not subscribe. Ather Connect Pro (Rs 826 quarterly/ Rs 2,832 yearly) includes Connect Lite’s on-scooter functionality along with features for the phone app: ride statistics, remote location tracking, remote charge monitoring and the ability to push locations from a phone to the scooter. 

Ather Service Lite (Rs 944 quarterly/ Rs 2,832 yearly) will take care of scheduled maintenance, labour and consumables, punctures, charge run out and roadside assistance — basically covering everything you’d need to keep the scooter healthy over a period of time. The Service Pro subscription (Rs 1,298 quarterly/Rs 4,248 yearly) adds home pick-up and drop to the mix. Ather 450X Series 1 owners got one year of Service Pro complimentary.


Any conversation around EVs is incomplete without questions on range anxiety. While the Ather 450X does not follow a brute force approach by just offering a higher range, there are some nifty additions that will give you some peace of mind. 

ARAI claims a range of 116km, but Ather prefers to talk in terms of True Range, which is a proprietary unit that is supposed to be a better indication of the expected range at all times.

The Ather 450X has four driving modes at different levels of performance and range. At a full charge, the Eco mode has a claimed range of 85 km, followed by Ride at 75 km, Sport at 65 km and Warp at 55 km. As you go higher, the top speed, acceleration and torque go up significantly. For most local riding, Eco will suffice while something like Ride is better suited for a moderately crowded highway. More on these ahead in the riding experience section.

In my usage over a month, these estimates were generally correct. At all times, the dashboard will show you the expected range in your current riding mode based on the battery level. For all electric vehicles, there are a couple of other factors that will also affect your range such as gradients, tyre pressure, payload weight, battery temperature, erratic acceleration, etc. You can absolutely ignore these factors and not overthink, as the range reduction is unlikely to be significant enough to have a tab in your brain open just to keep your riding stability in check.

Live UI feedback indicating inconsistent throttling (Image credit: Ather Energy)

A motor will have to use far more energy to go from 0 to 50 km/h than from 20 to 50 km/h.

If you are looking to get every bit out of your scooter, riding at a consistent speed is the best you can do. Basically, instead of going from a complete stop to a full throttle, try to move gradually in both directions. Whenever possible, try to coast for longer distances and avoid unnecessary hard braking. While driving, the dashboard interface will show a red glow in real-time around the range meter each time you accelerate. The brighter it glows, the more aggressive your driving is. As an efficiency hunter, you must try to keep red glow as faint as possible.

As with many high-end electric vehicles, the Ather 450X supports regenerative braking. All electric motors are also generators, producing power when they are in motion. With regenerative braking, whenever the scooter is coasting or braking, the kinetic energy sends power back to the battery. Currently, it is not too extreme, but over time, it has the potential to be much more. Since Ather is always looking at the riding pattern data, it could eventually add a mode where this takes centre stage.

For context, on Teslas, the strength of the regenerative braking can be increased to send the car in a deceleration mode whenever it is not accelerating. This reduces the need of using brakes for slowing down, and you can actually end up with more charge in the tank after your ride in some conditions.

Lastly, to ensure that buyers are not stranded with a dead scooter, it automatically goes to a power-saving mode when the battery is under 17%, limiting it to the Eco mode as well as slightly lowering the peak acceleration. While idle, the scooter loses about 2-3% charge per 24 hours. 

Charging and infrastructure 

Another commonly-asked question is how do you charge the scooter if its battery is not removable? 

The cost of a scooter includes a charger which can be used at home. You can choose between the Ather Dot, which is a proper charging point and a portable charger which can be plugged into any socket. Both are essentially the same charger in different bodies, and thus, take the same time to charge, which is about six hours for a full charge, where the initial 80% is relatively faster to protect the battery.

Fast charging is not possible at home.

That might seem like a lot of time, but was a conscious choice to limit the power delivery speed to ensure that the battery does not degrade. Like phones, even a scooter’s battery will lose its health when fast-charged repeatedly. Think of it as a usage pattern change where you leave your vehicle for charging overnight and start your day at 100%. Not having to go to a petrol pump and wait for some time has its own merit, right? Both chargers also have auto cut-off functionality, so don’t worry about overcharging or wastage.

A full charge consumes about 3 units of electricity, which is less than Rs 20 in my complex.

In case you’re confused about which charger to opt for, here are some points to consider. The Ather Dot will be much safer as it works off a dedicated plug point from your meter box, making it less prone to failure or thefts. It is also water-resistant, in case you have an outdoor parking or need to recharge while it is raining. It’s not too big (35 x 23 x 10 cm), but it does look unique enough to pique the interest of passersby – something to consider if you don’t trust the kids (or adults) around you. To get it installed, you will need to get permission from your society, which was fairly easy in my case once I explained what I was trying to do.

The Dot is also smart enough to lock into your scooter when charging so nobody without a key can take it out or tamper with it. Some users also put a wooden box with a lock around their charger for added security. You also don’t need to worry about switching it off at any point, as all of that will be handled automatically.

If your parking situation does not allow for a charger nearby or want something more discreet, the portable charger might be a better idea. It can connect to a 15A plug (or a 5A plug with an adapter), making it much easier to deploy. However, it does verify the safety standards of the socket before starting the charging and might reject them to protect the battery. In size, it’s just about the size of a large phone box and can easily fit in the boot or a backpack.

Another big difference is Authenticated Power Draw on the Ather Dot, which is tagged to an individual vehicle and can not be used with any other scooter. The Dot gets 3 years of warranty while portable gets 2.

What about those times when you’re not near a charging point but are running low on juice? That’s when Ather Grid comes in. It’s the company’s fast-charging network, which takes only about an hour to refuel the Ather 450X – ideal for quick top-ups while you run an errand. These have been conveniently placed at cafes, malls and restaurants where you can actually spend some time while leaving your scooter at a safe place.

The company plans on having at least 10 charging points in each city, but Mumbai currently has only three. You can check the status of them on the Ather Grid app, which will show the kind of establishment, waiting time and locations. Till March 31, 2021, all Grid points are free to use, post which they will be chargeable. The pricing is to be announced.


Another place where the Ather 450X is a textbook EV but very different from others is its design. It’s that sort of a vehicle that demands a second glance each time. Even if you have no idea about who Ather is or if this is an electric scooter, you’ll know it is different. That is taken a notch higher with the choice of colour options. While the Series 1 with its transparent panels is the world’s first production vehicle to have actual see-through elements, even the other colours are unusual but not out of place for a premium offering. Space Grey looks stealth and classy in all ways, White looks like a futuristic Stormtrooper while Mint Green is a cool shade of green which you need to see to appreciate.

Talking objectively, it is a medium-sized scooter with a suspended back-half – a characteristic of sports bikes that is rare on scooters. You’ll be able to see parts of the aluminium-steel alloy chassis under the seat which is a nice touch. Even the tail light has a pretty distinct look and shape.

The batteries are placed on the floor, under your feet, sitting ahead of the motor. This allows for a large unobstructed 22L boot (which has an in-built light too) which can easily fit a large helmet. On the front is the keyhole, charging port, a collapsible hook and the dashboard on top. We would have appreciated a place to hold bottles or wallets, along with a USB port for charging, but perhaps those wouldn’t suit well on a sports vehicle.

On the same lines, there’s no centre stand on the Ather 450X – just a visually unique side-stand that tilts a fair bit. Owing to the weight distribution, I think that’s a wise move.

The entire scooter (including the battery) is also IP67-rated for water-resistance, so you will be able to ride it in rains without any issues. Since there’s no exhaust that can act as an inlet, it will be able to go through 300 mm of water with no troubles. The dashboard is also IP65 rated, enough to withstand all sorts of weather conditions. 

A place with room for improvement is the seat. While it is pretty spacious to accommodate two tall adults with ease, it is a little too high. Short riders (under 5’6” would be my guess) could have a tough time trying to get their feet to reach the ground. Also, the seat has a significant curvature as you go backwards, so if you prefer to sit farther behind or are particularly tall, things can get a little uncomfortable (I am 6').

Riding experience

Getting to the fun part and one that will definitely convince you of its power and price. The Ather 450X is India’s quickest scooter, and you will feel it at all times. While all EVs have great acceleration due to instant torque availability, this one takes things to the next level with better optimization and much more power.

For example, when riding in Warp mode, the scooter can achieve a speed of 40 km/h from 0 in 3.3 seconds! You’ll be able to beat almost every other vehicle in a drag race or if you’re first in line for a signal to turn green. It can even sustain a speed of over 90 km/h with ease – a feat that few scooters can boast of. The acceleration is so insane that you’ll struggle to hold it for more than a few seconds because somebody or something will come in the way. I have had over a dozen different pillions experience Warp mode, and none of them were prepared for what’s coming. I had to make it a point to give explicit warnings to my co-riders to hold very tight before I shift to Warp. 

I was almost prepared to be disappointed with the other modes, especially Eco as that would have the least acceleration. But in my daily errand run or going to meet friends nearby, it not only proves sufficient for cruising but also to burst and overtake a vehicle in front of me. 

Driving in all modes is incredibly enjoyable as there are no sounds or uncomfortable vibrations that we’re accustomed to in two-wheelers. If you’ve ever ridden a bike through traffic on the highway, you know how tiring it can be. That will not be the case on the Ather 450X, for the driver as well as the pillion.

Since there is no state difference between on and off of the engine, you’ll also appreciate how stressfree waiting at signals will be.

The only real sound that the scooter makes is the internal fan that kicks in to keep thermals in check. It’s very similar to the drone noise of an airplane and won’t tire you. However, that also means that vehicles and pedestrians around you won’t hear you approaching. The puny horn makes matters worse.

For safety and better speed control, it has disc brakes on the front and back with CBS, allowing for excellent friction and control. There’s technically no ABS but in one particularly close call even when I had to hit both the brakes, the scooter skid for a fraction of a second but was back to its original place and speed, which was really reassuring in the middle of the highway.

Another big difference against other scooters is how well it sticks to the ground. With the bulk of the weight placed on the bottom (remember the batteries in the floor), the 450X has a very low centre of gravity, allowing it to sprint and curve with ease. In comparison, an ICE scooter will feel like it is trying to lug some weight behind it. This also makes the scooter very stable to ride as it won’t deviate from its trajectory that easily. A good example would be riding at high speeds while holding the handlebar with just one hand, without having the scooter go out of control.

If all of this wasn’t impressive enough, there’s also a reverse mode to assist you while parking. It comes really handy if you parked downhill or are stuck in a pothole and your lower body strength isn’t enough to pull it out.   

Another advantage which will be appreciated during monsoon or winter is how easily the scooter will switch on from sleep. All combustion vehicles need to be warmed up to get the engine kicking if left unused for too long. Since none of that matters on an EV, you’ll be up and running in seconds.

The suspension is a little stiff for my liking as it makes every road blemish felt at high speeds. Perhaps it will get better with more use, but for now, it could do with better shock absorption.

Dashboard and features 

Built on Android AOSP, the dash is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon processor with 1GB of RAM, 4G connectivity and Bluetooth 4.2.

The dashboard is at the heart of the Ather 450X experience. It is the centre for all controls and data. Unlike other two-wheelers, every single command goes through this PCB, allowing the company to theoretically tune every bit of the experience via software. 

The interface consists of three main screens: menu, riding and navigation. 

The ride screen shows your current mode and expected range, along with the odometer and trip details. The modes can be changed from the screen when stationary but only by the pusher while riding. On the bottom is the toggle for Park assist, which allows you to enter reverse mode and alternate to forward while being capped at a speed of about 5 km/h.

The right screen is for navigation which is based on a Google Maps API. There’s in-built Airtel 4G connectivity via eSIM which takes care of that as well as other connected features. You can input any location you want through the touchscreen or forward one from your phone. It works well and is quick to triangulate. I’ve not once lost connection yet. 

On the top left is a hamburger icon to enter the menu. Over here you can see your vehicle details and model number, check for OTA updates, store documents digitally or tweak settings. You’ll have the option to switch to a dark mode, change display brightness, toggle guide-me-home lighting (the lights stay on for a few seconds after exiting), toggle park assist and indicator beeping and enter an incognito mode to stop tracking. This section is mighty impressive and just goes to show how much potential such vehicles have.

Every bit is very well-thought-out and seems to be built over feedback. For instance, since the vehicle makes no sound or vibration to help differentiate between on and off, there is a persistent icon on the top that indicates the motor status. Whenever it is green, the scooter is ready to roll.

Taking it a step further, the Ather 450X also has multiple steps before allowing you to switch on the motor and thus, avoid accidents. Once you boot the scooter up via the key, you’ll have to disengage the physical engine killswitch, collapse the side stand and then hit ignition to get the vehicle moving. 

Over time, the scooter will also learn new features to improve the user experience. In the next major software update, you’ll be able to connect the scooter to your phone via Bluetooth and control music playback, see notifications and accept or reject calls.

For those curious, the Ather 450X is the first vehicle to run Android natively. Of course, it’s a very tweaked version based on the AOSP, so you won’t be able to download apps to it.


Ather app (Image credit: App screenshot)

If this wasn’t futuristic enough, the Ather Energy app lets you do all of this from your phone and much more! Available only with the Ather Connect Pro subscription, you’ll be able to see your scooter’s current battery level, charging status and expected time for a full charge. This was really useful when I wanted to plan longer trips but didn’t want to visit my garage just to check the available range.

You’ll also be able to initiate navigation from your phone so that the scooter is ready with that data without having to type it on the dashboard. Similarly, if someone shared a Google Maps location with you, you can directly push it to the 450X via the app.

Then there’s an entire page for support, to connect with customer care in one click, call for emergency roadside assistance as well as access the vehicle manual to understand things at your own pace. 

The fourth screen is primarily an extension of the Ather forums for discussion, so you might not need to visit it often. It’s a good place to meet others from your city, plan trips or discuss ideas and problems.

The last screen is for the profile to check your vehicle registration details, view ride statistics, manage soft copies of documents, report issues directly to the company and check for software updates.

While optional, these are great features to have at your fingertips, especially if you want to get the most out of your experience. Oddly, it did not work on many of the newer phones I tried (OnePlus 8 Pro, Oppo Reno 5 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra) but worked on the three-year old OnePlus 6.

Ather Grid app (Image credit: App screenshot)

For charging, you'll have to use the Ather Grid app, which will eventually become a hub for all fast-charging information and payments. It is not just limited to Ather electric vehicles.

Battery warranty 

(Image credit: Ather Energy)

The only dark cloud about owning an electric vehicle is battery degradation. The Ather 450X uses new 21700 cells (Tesla uses the same) for a capacity of 2.9 kWh, out of which 2.6 kWh is usable. The ~10% has been left inaccessible to reduce the effective number of charge cycles, thus exponentially improving battery longevity without taking too big a hit on the range. 

Just like phones, it’s recommended to follow charge cycles and avoid unnecessary fast-charging.

Ather claims that the battery has a life of over 50,000 km, which is 6-7 years at an average run rate of 6,000-8,000 km each year. Light users will be able to get a lot more, as the battery degradation curve isn’t linear. 

Further, the battery has a 3-year, unlimited mileage warranty where it will be replaced for free if its capacity goes below 70%. Over time, batteries don’t become useless, just their charge-holding capacity goes down.

Batteries also degrade with time. Ather’s testing suggests that degradation could be about 20% in three years due to age and about 2% over that for every 10,000 km driven. Since every scooter is being tracked, we should have clearer estimates of these figures over time. 

The company expects a battery replacement to cost about Rs 40,000-50,000, which might be a good motivation to ride the scooter gentler. With the costs of Lithium-ion cells going down, the actual cost after a few years could actually be lower. 

As a good practice, you can also put the Ather 450X into a deep sleep mode by shutting it down from the dashboard. This will come handy when it is going to be left unused for a few weeks but don’t want idle battery drain. 

(Image credit: Ather Energy)

After spending almost Rs 1.7 lac and waiting for a year after pre-ordering, the Ather 450X continues to be on the top of my list of best purchases in recent times. The acceleration, smart features, unique design and comfort are small factors that add up. For me, the most fun part continues to be how many heads it raises wherever it goes, be it on the highway, at a traffic signal or in a parking lot, people are always curious at first and impressed by the end of my product demo… at least till they hear about the price.

I feel like the coolest kid on the block.

I will end by saying that the Ather 450X is definitely an expensive electric scooter which might be out of budget for some, but for the right kind of users, it’s a fun toy that will not fail to excite you. Every part of the experience seems polished and futuristic, and it will only get better with time. If your preferences are similar to mine, you’re sure to love it. 

For everyone else, I’d implore you to take a test ride of one just to understand and appreciate how an Indian startup has managed to make one of the smartest vehicles in its class.

Buy Ather 450X
Pre-orders now ope...

Buy Ather 450X

Starting at Rs 1,46,926

Use referral code 0G17HL for Rs 2,500 credit


Want to know about the latest happenings in tech? 

Follow TechRadar India on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Aakash Jhaveri

Aakash is the engine that keeps TechRadar India running, using his experience and ideas to help consumers get to the right products via reviews, buying guides and explainers. Apart from phones, computers and cameras, he is obsessed with electric vehicles.