Electric Scooters: Haryana-Based Okinawa, Ather Top Charts; Accident-Prone Ola Sinks

| Updated: 08 June, 2022 11:35 am IST

NEW DELHI: Cab-hailing service Ola’s two-wheeler electric vehicle (EV) is bracing up for a more serious storm as Haryana-based Okinawa – another manufacturer of EV scooters – has left it behind in the number of sales, selling 4,000 more units this year till June this week.

Okinawa Autotech has taken over both Bhavish Aggarwal’s Ola Electric and Hero Electric to top the two-wheeler EV sales chart even as some brands have seen a drop in sales.

This data has been released on the Ministry of road transport and highways (MORTH)’s VAHAN website.

The New Indian analysed the unit sales between January and June for all these EV players. Okinawa has sold 41,670 units till June 6 while Ola is now tottering at a third position with 37,309 sales, seeing a slump from April to May. Hero Electric has managed a second position with 38,188 unit sales.

However, it is Ola who is routinely facing pressure from several quarters in India after reporting incidents of its scooters catching fire and eerie accidents, drawing ire on social media and among daily commuters.

Ola has been at the receiving end for poor hygiene and maintenance of its cab service during COVID with several commuters reporting incidents of deteriorating service, cancellations and unaffordable peak charges while questioning their monopoly in many top cities.

According to the same data, another Bengaluru-based EV manufacturing startup, Ather Energy, has registered a steady growth this year.

In May, Ola saw its sales plummeting by 27 per cent, while another major player Hero Electric was decimated by a fall of more than 56 per cent in sales over April.

Ather, which was started by Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain and is a considerably low-key player in the Indian market, sold 3,328 units in May, 877 EVs more than in April.
Okinawa has managed to maintain an upper hand over Ola in the month of June as well.

As per the data available till June 6, Okinawa sold 1,532 EVs across India, 308 units more than Ola Electric. As many as 946 two-wheelers of Ather were registered across India in the month of June so far. Overall, Ather sold 13,072 units.

Speaking to The New Indian, auto expert Adil Jan Darukhanawala said, “The most high-profile company from a loudspeaker point of view in the EV scooter industry was Ola. I knew from the beginning that they were talking too big for their own good. Ola said they had put up a plant with 10,000 women to produce 100 thousand units per Anjum. It was too good to be true.”

He accused Ola Electric of over-promising, over-hyping and not delivering products on time. “Many of the few scooters delivered had some or the other problem. The product was not perfect. You (Ola) were undermining the strength of the king (customer) by badmouthing the king and saying that you guys in the motoring media don’t matter. The wheel has turned around for Ola very very quickly,” Darukhanawala rued.

A total of 3,30,994 electric two-wheelers have been sold in India this year, the data show.

Issues like safety concerns over batteries, supply chain constraints, and the semiconductor crisis continue to mar some of the renowned brands in India, experts said.

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