Okinawa Autotech had promised in late 2019 that it is working on an upgraded electric two-wheeler plant in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan. The facility will see an infusion of Rs 150 crore being pumped into it. In the first phase of the setup, this facility will function at an annual capacity to produce around five to six lakh electric two-wheeler vehicles. In the near future, the production capacity is expected to touch 10 lakh units. The number is comparable with that of the established players like Hero Electric but pales in comparison to Ola Electric’s claims of 10 million scooters. This new Okinawa plant will manufacture the upcoming Oki100, Oki90 as well as the Cruiser electric bike/scooters along with other existing vehicles. While 92 per cent components are locally sourced, the battery is imported. Jeetender Sharma, MD of Okinawa Autotech, told Express Drives that the brand aims to invest in battery in the near future.
Speaking of which, we asked him on how Okinawa disposes the defective Li-ion batteries that have been replaced. After all, the brand has been selling its electric scooters from 2017 and also has many new Li-ion battery products in its kitty. Jeetender said
We understand the need for protecting the environment. Keeping that in mind, we have executed a tie-up with a company that deals in the recycling of lithium-Ion batteries. Once the battery life of a vehicle is over and the customer comes in for a replacement of the old battery, we take in the old battery and send it over for recycling.
COVID-19 has played spoilsport with many a manufacturer’s plans. As far as the atmosphere at Okinawa’s office and factory are concerned, Jeetender quips that
Covid-19 has impacted everyone in one way or the other. The atmosphere at Okinawa’s factory and office has been tough. People are in distress but we made sure to follow the protocols of Covid-19 to safeguard the employees. We have been following the policy of work from home to make sure that things are in shape and our employees are safe.
On being asked how the sales panned out last year, Jeetender confirms that the company managed to sell 30,930 units. In fact, the company was the second highest in terms of sales, with the Praise Pro emerging as the best seller for Okinawa. Jeetender says that the company didn’ incur any losses but were in fact profitable.
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