Honda has confirmed its plans to enter the growing electric two-wheeler market in the country. The Japanese major is most likely to enter the EV market by 2023.
Feasibility runs to be conducted soon
No plans to transition the popular Honda Activa
According to a PTI report, HMSI (Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India) plans to commence feasibility runs of its upcoming scooter with its dealer-partners after the festive season ends. It is learnt that HMSI president, MD and CEO Atsushi Ogata told PTI that the company has decided to plug into the EV market following detailed discussions with parent Honda Motor Company, Japan. While in-depth and model-specific details have yet to be finalised, Ogata said, “We have made a commitment to launch [an EV product] within the next financial year.”
The HMSI boss added that many firms, including overseas players, are entering India’s EV market as a result of the government’s EV-friendly moves and investments in developing green infrastructure.
Ogata elaborated that two-wheeler riders have begun using EVs for short commutes in cities but for long distances and rural areas, two-wheelers powered by internal combustion engines still have an edge.
“Some customers are using electric two-wheelers for very short commutes or very flat street conditions in big cities. So such customers have started to consider such options. But I think major customer segments are preferring to keep our existing lineup because in front of EV products, existing ICE engine specs still have a lot of positive points," said Ogata.
He added: “So far I don't believe there will be a drastic shift from ICE engines to EVs. We are considering it because we have the know-how of EV technology since the last several decades, so why not consider it for the Indian market.”
HMSI's YS Guleria also confirms the entry into India's EV market: "e-scooters are the talk of the town and government support is there. But there are challenges and there's no quick shift. Definitely of interest for short commuting. We will have our own model in FY2023."
While HMSI’s upcoming electric scooters will help expand its overall product range, there are no plans to transition the popular Honda Activa – India’s best-selling scooter for decades – or the Shine commuter motorcycle to electric power. Interestingly, Honda is also considering tapping into the growing business opportunity in BMS (battery management system) in India.
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