2022 Ather 450X (Gen 3) - first ride review
Exactly how much of an upgrade is this new electric scooter model over the older one? We ride out on the 2022 Ather 450X (Gen 3) with the intention of gathering some new plus points.
Ather Energy has come a long way since it rolled out the first-gen Ather 450 back in 2018. It launched the electric scooter at a time when Indians still needed convincing that two-wheeler EVs were in fact the way of the future, that, and also there were a lot more affordable Chinese options running about the place. Two years later the manufacturer came out with the Ather 450X - what it calls the second-gen model. It was essentially the same scooter but with a change in OS, with some software updates, the introduction of Bluetooth connectivity, the 'Warp' mode and some additional body colour options. The best part, as an overall package, it came across as a bulletproof offering. Now the company has made further improvements to its pride and joy, the 450X scooter you see here and it's what Ather calls the Gen 3 model... so let's get right into what it's all about.
The biggest, most important upgrade with this scooter can't even be seen, because it comes in the form of a bigger capacity battery. While the older model came with a 2.9kWh unit, this new one comes with a bigger 3.7kWh battery, which could mean only one thing, improved range. Other changes, well there's not a lot of them. And they're not as significant. You get new tyres - MRF Zappers - with a different tread pattern. Then there's the new mirrors that are bigger than before, showing that Ather has been listening to its fanbase and users. And the last change with the scooter is that it now gets more RAM and the ROM. Both have doubled up from before (now with 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM) which means that you can run heavier apps and also store more data on the scooter.
The last new bit with the new Ather 450X is the Smart/Eco ride mode, which is basically the last bit update with the older Gen 2 model. The mode essentially uses an algorithm that ensures that you cover the maximum amount of kilometres with the amount of juice left in the battery and your riding pattern. So the scooters brain will allow you to ride as fast as the scooters top speed of 80kmph sometimes, and if it figures that you're draining the battery too quickly, it will kill power and not allow you to exceed 40kmph.
Also, now you do have the option of fitting on a couple of add-on accessories as well. While you have the TPMS which was also available with the older model you now additionally have the option of slapping on a side step, which allows your pillion rider to have foot-support when sitting sideways, and there's also an optional bag that you can strap on the seat of the scooter to store some more items on the go.
What's not new?
Let's address the elephant in the room. The scooter's looks. On the visual front, there's not a lot for you to tell that this is the new third-gen model, because it looks identical to the older model. In fact the only tell-tale signs, visually, are the new mirrors and stalks. Once the scooter comes to a halt you may notice the new MRF treads too. All the panels, the peripherals, everything else is exactly the same as the (now) older model. Under all the panels, everything remains the same. The PMSM motor that produces 3.3kW of continuous power and a peak power of 6kW, the telescopic fork and monoshock suspension units, the 200mm (f) and 190mm disc brakes, the chassis - all carried over from the older model.
Now while there's not a lot that's changed mechanically besides some tweaks to the suspension to manage the five kg weight increase ( which is mostly down to the bigger battery), the Ather 450X still comes across a highly potent electric scooter option for India at this time. The scooter still feels agile and quite effortless to control, the telescopic fork and monoshock suspension units at both ends handle shoddy road conditions very well. The old motor still feels lively and you feel like the scooter still has a good amount of shove in warp mode.
The good, the bad and the summary
The company has definitely made some good improvements over the older model. For those still on edge about the spate of EV fires, there's some good news in here for you too. All the essential functional components of the scooter like the BMS and the motor controller have been rigorously tested to function as they should. Even the new battery has been designed and tested in-house by Ather to help keep temperatures down and reduce the probability of a thermal runaway. Now the sad bit about this ride with the Ather 450X is that well the most important thing about this scooter is the new larger battery. 25 percent more capacity 25 percent longer life, and a claimed 20km increase in range which all sounds great. But we didn't have enough time to really test the range capability of this updated machine or check to see how much longer it takes to charge because of time constraints. But one thing's for sure, the new tyres feel very reassuring over tricky road surfaces.
As far as the looks are concerned, Ather claims altering the 450X's aesthetics weren't a real priority, with more focus being on refining the ride experience of the scooter. So function over form, never a bad thing, but still, according to me a bit of change design-wise would have been more than welcome. If anything at least a couple more colour options. Because, well if I was first-gen 450 user who wanted to upgrade to this model, I'd want something that looked a bit different and not like something I bought four years ago.
So while's Ather is refers to this scooter as a new Gen 3 model, I'm not completely convinced that it qualifies as an all-new generation model. In truth, it feels like more of a revised model for the year 2022. But that's not taking anything away from the fact that Ather 450X still feels like a proper, solid, well thought out electric scooter. And seeing that, besides the new battery, it fundamentally hasn't hanged a great deal over the tried-and-tested Gen 2 model, I'm sure that this one will remain one the best e-scooters out in the Indian market.
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