Okinawa: Making EV scooters available for the mass

In India, the electric car sector is in its infancy. It accounts for less than 1% of total car sales but has the potential to rise to more than 5% in a few years. On Indian highways now, there are about 5 lac electric two-wheelers and a few thousand electric cars. Volumes in the industry have been variable, primarily to government incentives. Many serious players (Hero Eco, Ather, Electrotherm, Avon, Lohia, Ampere, and others) are continuing the goal and attempting to impose constructive change under the banner of SMEV.

More than 90% of electric vehicles on Indian roads are low-speed electric scooters (less than 25km/hr), which do not require registration or licensing. To keep prices low, almost all electric scooters use lead batteries; however, battery problems and battery longevity have become important limiting issues for sales and government subsidies.

Although with limited success, many manufacturers have attempted to build charging stations. Electric three-wheelers have been created by companies such as Lohia and Electrotherm. Ampere and Hero have both entered the Electric Cycles market. Numerous E-Rickshaw players are springing up across the country, selling a large number of E-Rickshaws for last-mile connection.

The Indian electric vehicle market was valued at USD 1,434.04 billion in 2021, and it is predicted to grow to USD 15,397.19 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 47.09 percent over the forecast period (2022-2027).

Due to the shutdown of manufacturing facilities and lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, locally produced electric vehicles were limited. However, once limits were lifted, EVs saw positive growth as consumers became more oriented toward affordable eco-friendly transportation, aided by government incentives.

The automotive sector in India is dominated by two-wheelers (scooters, motorcycles) and three-wheelers (autos and rickshaws), which play an important part in the country’s last-mile mobility. Rising government emphasis and focus on private-sector and government-sector collaboration to improve the country’s EV ecosystem. Major OEMs’ increased investments and product launches in the country, as well as their focus on localizing supply chain facilities, are projected to provide a healthy market picture.

Furthermore, in India, the amount of market maturity differs by state, depending on factors such as demography, income levels, regulatory landscape, and urbanization. For example, the state of Uttar Pradesh, which has one of the lowest rates of urbanization, has experienced a considerable increase in the use of electric two-wheelers.

Maharashtra, on the other hand, has the largest penetration of electric three-wheelers and passenger automobiles due to its greater urbanization rate. Because of the increased demand for electric buses and trucks, Delhi has the largest electric commercial vehicle fleet.

Overview

Okinawa, situated in Gurugram, was founded in 2015. The business introduced electric scooters with removable Li-ion batteries, allowing customers to charge their scooter batteries anywhere and at any time.

They manufacture and distribute their products in India through a network of over 350 dealers. Their business approach relies on product innovation to provide maximum localization and high quality. The price of Okinawa’s electric two-wheelers ranges from INR 59,000 to INR 1.09 lakh.

The OKI 100, the company’s first electric bike, will be released in the third quarter of this fiscal year. It will have a detachable Li-ion battery and a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour, with a range of 150 to 160 kilometers per charge.

The Inception

Jeetender Sharma’s electric journey began in 2015. When asked about his experience with an electric scooter, a teenager in Gurugram, Haryana, answered, “Cycle waala bhi mere se aagey nikal jaata hai [Even a cyclist overtakes me].” Sharma, then 39, felt embarrassed seeing the youngsters narrating their story with such a broad grin. The pillion rider needs to walk while crossing a flyover since the second one chipped in. “EVs [electric vehicles] are toys,” he remarked dismissively.

Sharma was heartbroken. And quite deservedly so. His Catch-22 predicament was comprehensible as the head of supplier and quality assurance at Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) for over 14 years. He was a key figure in the success of India’s largest scooter brand, Honda Activa, which had an unblemished track record in mileage, performance, and speed.

The former Honda employee, who is currently experimenting with creating e-scooters, chose to travel extensively across cities and smaller villages to obtain customer insight about EVs.

EVs were viewed as a costly substitute for bikes, not scooters,” Sharma recalls, having put down a list of concerns afflicting EVs: Low speed, low mileage, no infrastructure, no spare parts, untrained mechanics, frequent breakdowns, and poor quality Sharma was most upset by unjust comparison. “Every feature of electric vehicles was contrasted with gas scooters,” he laments. Consumers were not in the mood to abandon the internal combustion engine (ICE).

He began bootstrapping, amassing a fund of 25 crores from friends, family, and personal savings, and launching his electric two-wheeler brand Okinawa. His doctor’s wife was persuaded by her husband’s vision of an electric future. She left her job to work on the project. Many people did not share the husband-wife duo’s enthusiasm. Friends, relatives, and acquaintances mocked their arrogance. “Consider yourself lucky if you sell even 500,” remarked one of Sharma’s former coworkers.

The optimism of the first-time entrepreneur was most likely influenced by his success at Honda. When he first joined HMSI in 2001, the Japanese conglomerate launched the Honda Activa. The gearless scooter was an outlier in the two-wheeler market at the time. When Indian families began purchasing gearless scooters as their second vehicle after a bike, their faith and perseverance paid off. In reality, in the majority of car-owning families, the only two-wheeler was a gearless scooter.

After two years of research, Sharma created a prototype of an electric scooter and rode it across the country for 25,000 kilometers in 2016. The plan was to smooth out all of the kinks—whatever the scooter would encounter in the long run—and incorporate the improvements into the final product. Sharma released his first scooter, Ridge, a year later, and sold 10,000 units in a year. With soaring sales, the company skyrocketed. Okinawa made 100 crores in income in 2018, and the brand sold 50,000 units the following year.

Cut the date to October 2021. Okinawa ended FY21 with a revenue of 155 crores, has sold over 1 lakh scooters, and has emerged as India’s second-largest electric scooter manufacturer, with a 17 percent market share. According to data from JMK Research, Hero Electric has a 36 percent market share, Ampere has a 14 percent market share, and Ather has an 11 percent market share. Okinawa has a production unit in Alwar, Rajasthan, with an annual capacity of 90,000 vehicles in a single shift; it offers three high-speed e-scooters and two low-speed e-scooters, with prices ranging from 61,998 to 1.05 lakh.

The company is now intending to invest Rs. 200 crores in the construction of a new factory capable of producing up to 1 million units per year. The ambitious goal is to sell more than a million devices by 2025.

Okinawa’s models:

The price of an Okinawa scooter ranges from Rs. 61,998 for the R30 to Rs. 1.21 Lakh for the Okhi90. Okinawa has a total of seven scooters, all of which are electric-powered two-wheelers. Okinawa Okhi90 is a well-known scooter in India.

The company also intends to release one of its next scooters, such as the Cruiser. Select an Okinawa scooter to learn more about it, including the most recent price and scooter specials at dealer showrooms in your area. You can also browse the specifications, photos, scooter mileage, user reviews from other Okinawa scooter owners, and unbiased reviews from our car experts.

Models :

  • Okinawa Okhi90
  • Okinawa PraisePro
  • Okinawa R30
  • Okinawa iPraise+
  • Okinawa dual
  • Okinawa Ridge
  • Okinawa Lite

Bottom line:

The supply of fossil fuels is limited, and their consumption is wreaking havoc on our planet. Toxic emissions from gasoline and diesel automobiles have long-term negative consequences on public health. Electric automobiles emit far fewer emissions than gasoline or diesel vehicles.

From an efficiency standpoint, electric vehicles can convert approximately 60% of the electrical energy from the grid to power the wheels, but gasoline or diesel vehicles can only convert 17% -21% of the energy contained in the fuel to the wheels.

That is a waste of almost 80%. Although fully electric vehicles have no tailpipe emissions, even when power production is considered, petrol or diesel vehicles release nearly three times as much carbon dioxide as the average EV.

So Okinawa is contributing to the world by creating its range of EV scooters. Thus, the future of Okinawa looks luminous and bright as it will keep giving back to the world.

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