Being an electrical engineer, electric vehicles interest me as much as cars with V8 engines. Not only because they are much cheaper to run, they are cleaner and are the future. Before we dwell into the details of this Okinawa Ridge Electric Scooter review, though, let’s talk about the paradigm shift in the technology that is happening. If we were to talk about the most important companies in the world at the moment, name of Tesla would definitely feature among them. Started by serial entrepreneur Elon Musk, the car has taken world by a storm. It has made century old automobile manufacturers to start looking at their product lines and overhaul their strategy for the future. Why is that? Electric cars have been around for a very long time. It is primarily because Tesla offers great performance and a high range and has made people start looking at it as their only car and not just an addition to their collection of the cars. It’s a car one can actually use on a day to day basis. So, in this review, we are going to see if the Okinawa Ridge scooter can actually be used practically in the Indian conditions if it was the only scooter you bought.
Okinawa Ridge Electric Scooter Performance
Since electric scooters, despite having been around for years is still an odd territory for most. One still wonders – will it work? Can it pull my weight? Can it keep up with the traffic? I can easily say the answer to all these questions is yes in the case of the Okinawa Ridge. The tiny little scooter surprisingly has decent performance for an EV. Don’t rub your eyes, I did use the word performance. You see, electric motors have a great little trick up their motor – they have all the torque available from the word go. There is no Turbo lag, rev build-up required before the torque kicks in. So, you do experience great performance off the line, even if it is short lived.
You see, what happens in city traffic is, people do not accelerate fast enough or are not able to due to limited performance of their vehicles and to get ahead in the traffic you need acceleration and not top speed. Because, by the time most scooters reach 50/60 kmph they hit traffic and have to slow down. The Okinawa Ridge shoots off the red light like a real bullet (not the misnamed RE Bullet – they crawl). I did not have any other two wheeler which could keep pace uptill 30 kmph. I would still keep a little to a left to let any street racer coming from behind shouting ‘v-tec kicked in yo’. It would keep pace with city traffic. Off course for empty stretches of roads where one can drive faster than 60 kmph, this would not be able to keep up. In Delhi, Noida – Greater Noida expressway would be one example.
Okinawa Ridge Electric Scooter Engine And Performance
One interesting feature the scooter has is the option of two riding modes – Economy and Sport. You read it right – there is indeed a Sport mode on this electric scooter. Economy mode restricts the top speed to 35 km/h while the Sport mode allows you to go all the way up to 60 km/h, the claimed top speed for the scooter. I could however never go north of 55 km/h on a straight road. There is also a perceptible difference in the acceleration on offer between these two modes with a little more pulling power on tap in Sport mode. I rode the scooter in both modes to figure the difference in the performance. Okinawa claims a range of 85 km per charge. I did ride it for about 50 km on one of the days, mostly in Sport mode, with a twisty right wrist and I saw the battery charge indicator drop down to the last bar. Based on that experience, in Sport mode, I would not want to take this one out for a (return) trip of 60 km, or the same distance one way unless I have an electricity source at the destination. I believe if ridden just in economy mode, it would do 80 km. One issue which had me momentarily worried was that the battery bars would drop to either 1 or zero if going up a steep flyover or slope and the motor is loaded a bit more. The bars would come back to full once the extra power was not being drawn but it can get bothersome at times when you know that you won’t be able to recharge it somewhere close by.
Okinawa Ridge Electric Scooter Ride and Handling
The Okinawa Ridge, at 110 kg is the same weight as a conventional scooter. This is primarily due to its relatively big and heavy 20 AH VRLA Lead Acid batteries. They are located beneath a neat cover under the seat. It is, however, just a little bit smaller in size than your conventional scooter. The length (1725 mm) is about 90 mm lesser, about 15 mm narrower (695 mm) and 170 mm shorter (1080 mm) in height than the ubiquitous Honda Activa. These smaller dimensions do not affect its stability though. Even at top speed, the Okinawa Ridge maintains its composure.
I did manage to ride the electric scooter for a while in Gurgaon – which has more off road tracks than Ladakh valley in the name of roads, and the scooter took the undulations and potholes in its stride pretty well. Twice when I took it to office, it rained just before I was to leave for home and my reservations about its handling prowess on wet and broken roads were dispelled. In fact I felt I was better off on a scooter rather than my bike while riding on muddy roads, as the bike leaves my pants and shirt soiled. Tyres provided decent grip even on wet roads and suspension did its duty well. With no rear engine and the motor being a hub motor, the rear has swingarms with dual suspension and less weight. So it makes the ride better and improves on handling as well.
Okinawa Ridge Electric Scooter Features
The Okinawa Ridge is quite feature-rich, but has some important bits missing as well. It comes with theft protection and remote start. The key fob design is taken directly from Maserati – someone at Okinawa must love the exotic Italian cars. I did not find the remote start a very practical feature. You have to use the key to lock and unlock the handle or to unlock the seat. One can use the Anti-theft lock and not go through the bother of having to lock the handle but that’s a habit one will have to develop.
Here is how the anti-theft feature works on the scooter. You lock the scooter by pressing lock. If someone tries to move the scooter – an alarm is sounded and rear wheel gets locked. I still would lock the handle though and we all know how annoying these alarms can be. Neat feature though.
It gets a digital instrument console with speedometer, odometer, trip time and battery indicator. It’s surprising that Okinawa have given this scooter theft protection and remote start but missed out on trip meter and distance to empty. It doesn’t have a clock either in the large digital display. I think distance to empty is a must have feature in an electric scooter. Another thing missing was an indicator light on the scooter when you put it in charge. One has to rely on the charger’s indicator LEDs to know how much charge has gone in. Also, the one has to switch off the scooter (using an MCB below the seat) before it’s put on charging.
Okinawa Ridge Electric Scooter Braking
I kept braking for the last because it’s generally the Achilles Heel for most scooters. The brakes on the Okinawa Ridge too, were quite mushy. The brake lever has a long travel even with the lever completely pressed, the brakes themselves lack the bite. I got used to the brakes pretty quickly and never got into a tricky situation because of them but I did expect it to have more stopping power.
Okinawa Ridge Electric Scooter Running Cost
This is a very important parameter for electric scooters from the consumer perspective, especially in the Indian context. Much as we might claim to have saved the planet by going electric, one of the biggest incentives for people to buy an electric scooter is the savings they make over a petrol vehicle. Let’s do some math – it takes about 3 units of electricity to fully charge the scooter which can give a range of at least 60 km or 80 km if run in Economy mode. Expenditure on 3 units would translate to about Rs. 12 in your electricity bill (Delhi). So Rs 12 will take you about 60 km – that’s about 20 paise per km. A basic 100/110 cc scooter gives a mileage of about 60 km/l and with petrol at Rs. 70 in Delhi, it translates to about Rs. 1.1 per km. Add to this the expense of maintenance of a conventional petrol engine scooter, the Okinawa Ridge will save you lots of money. If one does about 1000 km of commuting in a month, it translates to a saving of about Rs. 900 per month just in fuel costs.
Okinawa Ridge Electric Scooter Review Conclusion
In one word – Fun. This little scooter is a lot of fun to ride. It has peppy performance, handles well, is more silent than our former Prime Minister and gives a lot of smiles per mile. As we mentioned before, it saves a ton of money too. It takes some extra effort to charge, though, and one cannot take it out like a conventional motorcycle for a long trip. But overall, it is a very practical and a worthy replacement of conventional internal combustion engine scooter if you wish to use it for point to point, limited range commutes within the city. On the downside, it does miss out on some features and needs better brakes.
Okinawa Ridge salient features:
- Telescopic front suspension
- Dual rear shock absorbers with dual tube technology
- Digital dashboard
- 4-6 hours charging time
- 3 units of electricity consumption for a full charge
Okinawa Ridge specifications:
- Motor Output – 1200 V High Capacity Motor Output
- Battery Type – 60V/20 AHVRLA Battery (Lead Acid)
- License /Registration – Not Required
- Range – 85 km/charge
- Top Speed- 60 km/hour
Okinawa Ridge Electric Scooter Price: INR 42,400 (exclusive of registration, insurance and a rebate of INR 5000)