E-scooters: New love of Puneites
The number of electric scooters is the highest in Pune among 14 State RTOs
Pune: The Pune city has emerged as a torchbearer for other cities in Maharashtra as it boasts of the highest number of electric two-wheelers in the State. As per data provided by the Regional Transport Office (RTO), 1597 electric scooters were registered between April 2017 and January 2019. The Kolhapur RTO comes second at 751. Pune’s figure is the highest among all the 14 RTOs in the State. Pimpri-Chinchwad stands at 4th spot with 223 electronic scooters.
Many Puneites, including senior citizens and professionals whose job requires them to travel within the city a lot, find the running cost of electronic two-wheelers cheaper than their petrol counterparts. Pune customers have a host of options like Hero Electric, Okinawa Scooters, Miracle 5 and Avan Motors. Mileage varies from 40 km to 140 km per charge, as does the top speed that comes in 30- 75km/hour range.
Vishnu Rathi is one such owner of an electric two-wheeler. The 65-year-old senior citizen from Bhosalenagar finds Okinawa e-scooters convenient and light-weighted while driving. Cable operator Ashish Shitole needs to travel a lot within the city, which is why when it came to buying a bike, he opted for the electric one to save money spent on petrol. The e-scooters are, however, still a minority in the 40 lakh petrol-driven market.
“People are still not aware of the electric scooters and it is very difficult to convince them that it is economically cheaper and environment-friendly than petrol,” said Tushar Awale, Manager of Thube Automobiles that deals in Hero Electric scooters.
On an average, Hero sells about 10-15 vehicles in Pune.
Okinawa Electric Scooters is another big name in this sector, having five models in the price range of Rs 48,000 to Rs 1.30 lakh. Vijay Babanpuwale, Manager of Shrinivasa Motors, who deals in Okinawa Electric Scooters, said, “People have reservations regarding batteries but the scene is changing. Cost of petrol is also rising that eventually increases the demand of e-scooters.”
He said that the latest high-end model requires three hours to get fully charged and runs for 65-70 km, costing roughly 10 paise per km. “It is a one-time investment and a lot of people have started buying it,” Babanpuwale said, adding that servicing also does not cost much.