New Delhi-based two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp Ltd on Thursday said that its board has approved an investment of up to Rs.205 crore for about 26-30% shareholding in Bangalore-based tech start-up Ather Energy Pvt. Ltd that makes electric vehicles.
Hero said payments to Ather will be made in tranches. Ather sells an electric scooter named S340 and also has expertise in charging infrastructure.
“As the market leader and a global automotive major, Hero MotoCorp takes the lead in many areas that benefit the environment, customer and the industry. Adoption of environment-friendly fuel is a priority for Hero MotoCorp, as is propagating sustainable manufacturing through green facilities. Hero MotoCorp intends to enhance its participation in the EV (electric vehicle) space by pursuing its internal EV program in addition to partnering with Ather,” the company said in a statement to the BSE.
The said strategic investment is subject to execution of definitive agreements and completion of certain conditions customary for a transaction of this nature.
This is the Pawan Munjal-led company’s second such investment in a company after it separated from Honda Motor Co. in 2010. Its first such move to pick up stake in US-based EBR Racing backfired after the Erik Buel-led bike company filed for bankruptcy in the US, leaving Hero red-faced in front of its shareholders. The company later wrote off the investments made in EBR
India wants to put as many as six million electric vehicles on its roads by 2020 and about two-thirds of the sales is aimed from the two-wheeler and bus segments.