Ather S340 (Smart Electric Scooter) by Shantanu Jog
2016 - 2017, Golden A' Vehicle, Mobility and Transportation Design Award Winner
Electric two-wheelers have always been associated with negative perceptions of being slow and clunky. Hence the brief for the S340 was to create a sporty yet contemporary scooter. The ground-up approach offered the possibility of looking at high-performance motorcycles when it came to proportions and design details. Keeping the vehicle light was a constant goal. Along with the clean form, the proportions of the vehicle are compact, while still keeping it more usable than existing scooters.
The S340 is an electric scooter which is not based on any existing two-wheeler platform. A ground-up approach offers more design flexibility. Being electric, the S340 had to accommodate and package a 15 kg battery pack and also manage to keep the overall vehicle weight minimal. It features a unique hybrid chassis. The battery pack is also a structural member. This approach keeps weight a lot lesser than other vehicles in the same class with better structural rigidity.
Design Challenges
The S340 and its ecosystem address things like EV trust issues, range anxiety and service. Indian Regulatory norms apply to the S340 as well and care has been taken to design the vehicle to comply with the same. Part availability, technology and cost were constraints in the design of the S340, but not restrictions. The design of the S340 went through updates, for production feasibility and quality control, ensuring usability and good ergonomics, and finally positioning it as a premium product.
Production Technology
The vehicle has a hybrid Aluminium and Steel chassis that is lighter yet stronger. The cycle parts are made in Aluminium. The body parts use ABS and Polypropylene to get the best finish and durability. The final drive belt is Carbon Fibre, which is noiseless, smooth and light. The design process involved both the traditional design process and the latest prototyping techniques. Selection of the final design theme was carried out with sketches and validated further with a full-scale clay model.
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