Okinawa Shifts To ‘Lithium Only’ For Its Two Wheelers

NCR based electric two-wheeler maker Okinawa Autotech private Limited (Okinawa) announced today (Thursday) that it is stopping the sale of lead-acid battery-based scooters. The company will focus only on lithium-ion battery-based variants from now on, said the firm in a statement. Incidentally, under the FAME2 guidelines for two-wheeler subsidies, electric vehicles based on lead-acid batteries do not qualify anymore.

Okinawa had started up in 2015, with its first model Okinawa Ridge. In 2019, it started offering scooters with detachable lithium-ion batteries, making recharging and replacement much faster for users.

“We are shifting to 100 percent lithium-ion battery pack based two-wheelers. When we launched the brand, lead acid was the most advanced option available in the market. Now, with rigorous growth of the industry and the brand, we have taken a step ahead and have discontinued lead-acid battery pack-based products,” Okinawa MD and Founder Jeetender Sharma said.

Okinawa claims to have sold over retailed over 34,000 units of lead acid-based vehicles in India, and a total of 74,500 units in all, with a target to sell 90,000 units by the end of the current financial year. The company currently seems to offer 5 models, three of its lithium high speed and two, for its lithium low speed models.

The move by the firm makes sense, as we have long argued that the two-wheeler category will find it much easier to take advantage of drop-in storage costs and make the changes necessary to adapt. Overall, in the broader EV category, at least till 2022-23, expect most action to come in the two-wheeler segment only, as four-wheeler EV’s will work on B2B usage first, and some early adopters for private passenger vehicles. In fact, on a base of just over 150,000 units, the market for electric two-wheelers is expected to grow at a CAGR of 25 percent between now and 2025-26. It’s a thriving market right now, with multiple startups lie Okinawa, namely Ather Energy, and legacy two-wheeler firms also getting their act together now.

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