Gurugram-based Okinawa Autotech is planning an electric product onslaught in the new year and that will see the company bring some long-awaited and exciting new products to the market. The big news is that the manufacturer plans to bring at least four electric models next year. This will include the Okinawa Cruiser that was showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo along with the Oki100 electric motorcycle. While these models have been known and their launches were delayed due to the pandemic, the additional two new offerings will comprise an electric scooter for commercial applications as well as an all-new high-performance model.
Speaking to carandbike in an exclusive chat, Jeetender Sharma, Founder and MD, Okinawa, said, "We are coming with a product for the B2B segment. We understand that the B2B market is also important like the food delivery and courier market. Currently, people are using ICE engine motorcycles or scooters or maybe many are already using our scooters. However, that scooter is designed based on the B2C [customer's needs]. So we are planning to come with one product that is specifically designed for the B2B requirement with a load-carrying capacity."
Okinawa's upcoming commercial scooter will take on the likes of the Hero Electric Nyx range that caters to a similar target audience. Electric two-wheelers initially found acceptance for commercial use and are already being used for delivery applications. Compared to the standard electric scooters that focus more on design, performance, and rideability, the requirements of a commercial fleet operator change with priorities being low acquisition and running costs, higher range, and larger load-carrying capacity.
Sharma also confirmed that a new high-speed electric scooter is also in the works. It's not clear where and how the model will be positioned. The company is aiming to tap into the premium segment with the model though and it will be rich in features while also offering a longer range. At present, Okinawa retails the iPraise and PraisePro performance electric scooters in the market.
With respect to the Okinawa Oki100, the upcoming model was originally scheduled to arrive this year but the plan was delayed. The company is now looking to introduce the model in the next quarter and the electric motorcycle is likely to arrive by March 2021. The manufacturer promises a feature-laden offering with the Oki100 that will take on 150 cc motorcycles in terms of performance and will also come with connected vehicle technology, app-based telematics, sporty design, and more. The Oki100 will take on the Revolt RV400, the only other electric motorcycle on sale right now.
Lastly, the Okinawa Cruiser maxi-styled electric scooter will also be the big launch for the company next year. Originally slated to arrive in January 2021, the brand has not disclosed the revised launch timeline for this offering but it will arrive next year. At the Auto Expo, Okinawa had claimed a 4 kWh lithium-ion battery on the Cruiser and a range of 120 km on a single charge. Power figures though are yet to be revealed. Prices at the time were said to be around the ₹ 1 lakh (ex-showroom) mark.
Sharma also elaborated on the growing demand from rural areas for electric vehicles. The growing number of high-speed electric vehicles has encouraged customers in rural areas to opt for e-scooters in recent times. Explaining further, he said that nearly 65-70 per cent of the brand's sales come from the rural market. Customers in rural markets are also more price-conscious than urban market users. That's why electric two-wheelers are finding more acceptance due to negligible fuel bills as compared to a similar 100-125 cc scooter. Apart from new products, the company also plans to expand its dealer network to 500 outlets by the end of the current fiscal, up from the current 350 dealerships.