Thursday, May 26, 2022

Honda India Future Plans – Electric Scooters, Flex Fuel Motorcycles

Honda aims to serve more than 40 overseas markets through its operations in India

New Honda Activa Electric
Image for reference.

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) has officially revealed their roadmap / details about their upcoming plans for the country. This involves entry into the electric mobility space as well as introduction of newer technologies like flex-fuel system, etc. The country’s second largest two-wheeler company will introduce multiple EVs in the next few years.

Honda India Electric Vehicle Plans

The Japanese brand has said it aims to retail 10 lakh units of electric two-wheelers per annum by 2030. That is a huge number, considering they do not sell a single unit of EV today in 2022. In order to achieve this, Honda will be leveraging support from other Indian subsidiaries. These include the recently established Honda Power Pack Energy India Pvt Ltd, Bengaluru, which will provide battery-sharing service and technical support for EVs from next month.

However, it is not yet clear if these models will be overseas products like PCX electric or ‘made-in-India’ models specifically targeted at the India market. Honda is currently studying the feasibility for readying its EV model line-up and developing the overall ecosystem in India. With a massive surge of EV brands in the country, sales volume in the electric two-wheeler space has witnessed a jump of 370 percent last fiscal year.

The bikemaker is also working towards developing a battery swapping infrastructure. It has already teamed up with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) to set up swap stations across the country. Further, Honda is testing Benly e electric scooter on Indian roads for fleet and last mile service. The e-scooter features a battery swapping technology that could be used in future models for the two-wheeler segment.

Honda electric scooter with battery swap tech - Benly e
Honda electric scooter with battery swap tech – Benly e

Alternate Fuel, Flex Fuel Technology

The Japanese auto giant is aggressively pursuing development of fuel-efficient products for the country. Honda also plans a phase-wise implementation and integration of flex fuel technology in its model range of scooters as well as motorcycles. This will not only reduce dependency on fossil fuels, but also make vehicles run cleaner thus adhering to future emission norms. Honda is confident of such transition since it already retails such flex fuel two-wheelers overseas.

Honda CG 160 Titan - Flex Fuel Motorcycle
Honda CG 160 Titan – Flex Fuel Motorcycle. Image – La Moto

For example, Honda already retails CG 160 Titan motorcycle in Brazil which can run on both petrol and ethanol. Honda even claims that this was the world’s first ethanol fuel-based motorcycle. Off late, the Government of India has also been pushing towards adoption of alternate fuels and flex fuel technology.

Entry-Level Motorcycle To Rival Hero Splendor

Honda also plans to dive into the entry-level commuter segment with a new 100cc motorcycle which will rival the likes of Hero Splendor, TVS Sport and Bajaj Platina. Currently, the Japanese brand’s motorcycle portfolio starts with CD110 Dream Yuga which is priced at Rs 66,0033 (ex-showroom) and feels too expensive for an entry-level motorcycle that is barebones essentially.

To supplement all these plans, Honda aims to further strengthen its Manesar-based plant in Haryana as a Global Resource Factory for ‘Making in India for the world’. Honda 2Wheelers India currently operates four manufacturing plants-one each in Manesar (Haryana), Tapukara (Rajasthan), Narsapura (Karnataka) and Vithalapur (Gujarat).

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