Living With an E-Scooter
Thoughts and experience of living with an EV in India for Past two years
Two years back my father decided to get a new scooter for our already clustered garage of two scooters and one motorcycle, but while our research we got more and more intrigued by owning an electric scooter and were quite fascinated by its theoretical benefits over a conventional petrol-powered one.
So, we got one just before the two-wheeler EV wave hit India, at the time we paid close to one lakh rupees for the Okinawa Praise Pro. Since then the ownership has been pretty smooth sailing, with some minor troubles at the beginning of the ownership, but those were soon ironed out and the past year has been pretty much niggle free.
But this isn’t an ownership experience review, but a proper Review based on my experience living with an EV in India.
Now, this might not be as exciting as a Kia EV9 or something as grandeur as a Mercedes EQ range.
But this is something that concerns the masses of Indian consumers whose daily commute and various businesses rely on two-wheeler mobility.
I am writing this article in the Hope that my thoughts might help people who are in the market for an E-scooter, since, Okinawa Praise Pro is among the second highest selling E-Scooter on the market, bettered only by Ola S1.
E-Scooters are a quite curious case due to their Enormous on-road price and who can forget last year’s debacle of E-scooters randomly engulfing in flames in various parts of the country, these incidents occur just when people started to open up to electric vehicles.
These fiery incidents gave E-Scooters negative publicity but as they say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, and in an instant piqued the public interest, and forced the government to swoop in and set some norms on the battery and Battery management systems for all the manufacturer to adhere.
Despite this many potential buyers refrain from purchasing an EV due to the stigma that has been attached to it since last year.
Even though reported incidents of such fiery scooters have been pretty negligible for a few months now. And I am happy to report so far we have done close to 6000kms on the Odo and we haven’t faced any such fiery issues with our E-Scooter. Albeit 6000kms in two years is pretty much a showroom condition, but I digress.
I did mention that we did face some issues at the beginning and those were small niggles like a weak Horn, indicator switches failing, and somebody’s work that got loose after going over some bad potholes, apart from these trivial issues, owning this scooter has been pretty much smooth sailing.
How is it to ride
Riding this scooter is quite different compared to your conventional petrol-powered scooter, not just in terms of driveability, but also due to the floor being at a considerable height where we place our feet, it takes some time to get used to especially stuck in slow-moving traffic.
It took some time to get friendly with the different ergonomics and with some off ergonomics, the nature in which the drivetrain produces power on demand also made getting used to the scooter a bit complicated.
Once you get used to the odd ergonomics, you realize that the ride quality of the scooter is pretty stiff and harsh even on mediocre roads. The e-scooter employs a telescopic fork up front, and twin rear gas-charged shock absorbers.
The suspension has an odd compression, over bad roads, and the initial impact is observed quite well I would say it is better than most ICE scooters, but it is the rebound that is very sharp and intense, that hinders the overall ride quality. This sort of suspension tune sculpts unique characteristics specific to this scooter.
Acceleration & Braking
Okinawa Praise Pro boasts a 2000 Watts BLDC Motor which sources energy from a 2.0kWh Battery that takes around 3-4 hours to reach maximum charge and when the battery is brimmed to the max it offers a range of 100kms on Eco mode and 90kms on Sports mode.
Acceleration is quite modest but does day-to-day tasks very efficiently and reaches the top speed of 75 km on sports mode but can be limited to 45km in eco mode. This E-Scooter comes with another mode that’s called Turbo, and the way it works is when the scooter is in sports mode and a speed of 75kph ceiling is touched engaging the turbo mode gives an extra 10kph speed for 10 seconds which comes in handy while overtaking.
To bring the scooter to a halt while doing these numbers, Okinawa has appointed front and rear disc brakes, and the rear houses a regen braking as well that regenerates power while braking.
Using an E-scooter as a daily brings about a lot of changes and follows with a lot of adapting and planning according to the range and charging times.
And addition to the odd ergonomics of Okinawa praise pro does make adapting a little difficult.
But once you get used to all the changes owning an EV is an experience in itself, and the money you save on fuel is quite remarkable if you can justify the premium over a traditional ICE scooter and lack of top speed.