Dec 22, 2015 03:20 PM EST

Two College Friends Who Built India's First Electric Scooter Raised $13 Million

By Pao U.

India, particularly New Delhi, was named the world's most polluted city. Apparently the reasons are the cars all over the city, the industrial fumes, agricultural waste and the burning of garbage as well. Not only this, the traffic is also serious. It usually takes about 2 hours in order to cross it.

A news source said that there are about 1400 cars in the streets of Delhi every day. The pollution is something that has a big impact on the people. Because of this, two entrepreneurs from Bangalore attempted to help the people in India by designing an electric two wheeler vehicle.

In an article written in Forbes, Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain, the people who started Ather Energy and convert the two wheeler market into an electronic one. They are using Tesla's high-end approach and not compromising designs and inject a little bit of environmental consciousness into it. The two met in the Indian Institute of Technology where they were classmates.

They were selling batteries before they started looking into electric vehicles. Metha said that they were aware that many customers would like to see the finish product and not just a DIY solution.

He said, "We always wanted to produce clean energy, hence the name, 'Ather Energy,' Their company now employs more than 80 people in Bangalore. They have spent the last two years developing the debut model: S340. Metha said the goal is to create a product that is as good to control as the ones that are petrol based two wheelers in the market.

They want their product to go as much as 75 kmph and can be charged in just an hour in sockets that can be commonly found anywhere.

Electric scooters in India before can only go up to about 30 kmph, have a limited battery life and has a life span of only a year. Electric charging is almost non-existent and not practical option. Metha said he was inspired by Chines manufacturer BYD. The company specializes in plug-in hybrids.

However, making the ideal product wasn't easy. He said the hardest challenge is finding talent. He added that, as a country, they don't build many product companies. Their two-wheeler will be the first to be designed and produced in India.

They have invested their time for the last two years to make the design that would work. Of course they can do this thanks to the investors like Flipkart, India's largest e-commerce platform gave them a seed capital of $1 million. This year, another hedge fund company, Tiger Global gave $12 million for Ather.

The product is still being tested repeatedly and their main goal is to make sure that they get the product into the market. Ather is expected to debut in India's major metro in 2016. There is still no word as to when exactly or how much it would be. They just wanted to make sure that the product is absolutely ready for the market.

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