When Gurgaon-based Okinawa Autotech Pvt Ltd launched the Ridge electric scooter in January this year, it seemed to be clearly different from – and quite possibly better than – conventional e-scooters already available in the Indian market at that time. We recently had the opportunity to ride the Ridge for a few days and understand what makes this e-scooter tick.
DESIGN & STYLING
The Ridge bears a strong resemblance to the Honda Dio, what with the LED headlamp unit being neatly integrated in the front apron. What is different is the positioning of the clear lens turn indicators positioned in the fairing unit. The tail lamp also features a bright LED unit, which is a boon when riding on dimly lit roads. Overall, the scooter seems to be ‘mature’ in terms of design.
Unlike other e-scooters, the quality of plastics used on the Ridge is considerably better and body panels are well integrated into one another, without any glaring panel gaps. The paint quality is noticeably impressive for an electric scooter, giving it an upmarket feel. Quality of switchgear is decent and the switches work well. The Ridge has storage behind the front apron and underneath the seat, which is sufficient to store small bits. However, a large charging adapter takes up some of that storage space as it can only fit under the seat.
The Ridge comes with an 800 W electric motor powered by a 60 V/24 Ah valve-regulated lead acid (vRLA) battery, which produces 1.07 hp of power. The vehicle is fitted with a pressure-release valve that expels hydrogen, which can build up during overcharge. Thus, the valve saves the owner from having to immediately switch off the power supply once the battery is fully charged. The normal charging duration is around 6-7 hours and a fast charging option is also available, which tops up the battery in around two hours.
The scooter comes with two riding modes: Eco and Sport. In the Eco mode, the Ridge can go up to 35 kph and in the Sport mode, a maximum speed of 55 kph can be reached. Okinawa claims that the scooter can cover a distance of around 80-85 km on a full charge. However, this is mainly in the Eco mode and enthusiastic riding in the Sports mode might drop the figure to around 60 km.
The all-digital instrument cluster comes equipped with a speedometer, odometer, battery/charge indicator and a pseudo-rev meter. The display is well-lit and even during peak afternoon hours, the details were clearly visible. What may be a cause for worry though is the battery gauge, which often failed to display the exact charge remaining in the battery. The company must address this issue immediately, as e-scooter owners might depend heavily on this feature.
RIDE & HANDLING
This is the area where the Ridge outshines its competitors by a fair margin. The scooter comes with telescopic front forks and dual shock absorbers at the rear. These provide a stable ride and confidence-inspiring handling dynamics. Minor potholes are dealt with aplomb, though bigger bumps can sometimes throw the vehicle off balance. Still, the manoeuvrability and stability of this package can be rated much above than what we are accustomed to from an e-scooter.
Braking duties are handled by drum brakes on both wheels, which come shod with 10-inch tubeless tyres fitted on alloy wheels. Road grip offered by the tyres is adequate and as long as the rider does not push it too hard, the Ridge will prove to be an able handler in regular city traffic. The sudden surge of torque from the electric motor might take new riders by surprise, but once on the move, it is easy to get accustomed to.
In real world riding conditions, with the battery fully charged, the Ridge to a large extent behaves like a regular 100-110 cc scooter, with smooth torque delivery and crisp throttle response. The wide seat offers a comfortable ride and a pillion on board will have no complaints as long as the Ridge is ridden at a reasonable pace.
At Rs 43,700, ex-showroom pan India, the Ridge has a lot going in its favour. A capable handler, it comes equipped with all the bells and whistles that riders might expect. The feature list is exhaustive and the Ridge’s biggest plus is that it manages to bridge the gap between existing e-scooters and entry-level IC-engine-powered offerings quite well. Being capable of speeds in excess of 30 kph, it does require registration and a driving license, which is only fair.
In the short term, what might not work in its favour is the lack of charging infrastructure for e-vehicles in India. Also, the battery in non-detachable, which would either require the owner to have a charging point in the parking lot, or have a very long wire, which can be impractical.
On the whole, the Ridge is a capable, mature product and those who’re looking for a clean, green, non-polluting two-wheeler, you should certainly take a look at this product before making up your mind.
TEXT & PHOTO: Anwesh Koley