Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) will introduce its first electric scooter by March 2024, the company's president, MD and CEO Atsushi Ogata revealed at the launch event of the Activa H-Smart.
- First EV likely to be a battery-powered Activa
- Battery-swapping stations to be set up at all 6,000+ touch points
Honda Activa electric, follow-up models: details
"We are locally developing our electric two-wheelers in close coordination with Honda's teams in Japan, and we aim to be ready with the first scooter around the same time next year – definitely within FY 2023-'24," Ogata said.
The first of Honda's all-electric products is likely to be introduced around March 2024, and is going to be based on the existing Activa with a transplanted electric powertrain replacing the engine. It will have a fixed-battery set-up and offer a maximum speed of 50kph, Ogata revealed.
Following the Activa EV will be a second electric scooter from the company based on a completely new platform. This second model will boast a swappable battery set-up and offer high performance in line with other electric scooters available in the market. "For the last few years, it was not an urgent matter for the company to invest into an EV programme from a business point of view, but with market expectations growing, we are going to get into the EV segment next year," Ogata said.
Ogata explained that HMSI could have served the Indian market earlier with any of Honda's EV products from China, but it chose to work on India-specific products. Over the last six months, the company has been focusing on making arrangements to localise the e-motor as well as the battery, and the bulk of its investments in FY 2023-'24 will go towards making its manufacturing infrastructure compatible to produce ICE two-wheelers and EVs within the same plant in a hybrid format.
HMSI says it will manufacture electric motors in-house and will also set up battery-swapping stations across all its 6,000 consumer touch points in the country before the second e-scooter is rolled out. However, the company still believes conventionally powered scooters will form a major portion of the Indian market for the foreseeable future as they will offer higher range per refuel.
"Customers with limited running will opt for an Activa EV, but they would still want to own an ICE Activa for travelling longer distances," Ogata said.