Honda 2W To Launch Flex-Fuel Models In 2024, Followed Later By EVs


Honda is planning to introduce flex-fuel two-wheelers in India soon, and it is also working on battery-swapping tech for future EVs

Honda Motorcycles and Scooter India (HMSI) is planning to launch flex-fuel models in the next two years. This falls in line with the centre government’s plan for reducing oil imports and curbing air pollution in India. Last year, union minister Nitin Gadkari had urged automakers to start looking towards alternate/greener fuels.

Flex-fuel vehicles run on a mixture of ethanol and petrol, which reduces the consumption of the latter fuel, while also reducing harmful tailpipe emissions. Also, ethanol can be sourced from plants, and thus it is a sustainable fuel, unlike fossil fuels like petrol. However, ethanol-blended petrol has a lower energy density than regular petrol, affecting performance.

Honda is currently studying how much ethanol can be blended in petrol in India to ensure that performance and overall fuel economy aren’t affected too much. The manufacturer has been using flex-fuel technology in Brazil for over a decade now, with a lot of success; Honda has sold over seven million flex-fuel two-wheelers there to date.

honda activa 6G-4

Atsushi Ogata MD, president, and CEO of HMSI – recently said: “We think internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles will continue to comprise a significant proportion of two-wheeler sales in the country even after 10 years. The policy measures being undertaken by the government are positive. Biofuel technology is definitely a sustainable solution and can help reduce oil imports.

Honda is also planning to introduce electric two-wheelers in India, but that would take longer. The manufacturer is currently busy establishing a battery swapping network in Bengaluru, in partnership with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. The automaker will expand the EV battery swapping network in a phased manner.

2021 Honda Forza 350 and 125 maxi scooters

Initially, Honda will focus on the use of said battery-swapping technology for electric three-wheelers right now, as it is planning to launch electric two-wheelers a few years later. The manufacturer is expected to partner up with other electric two-wheeler manufacturers, as a common battery-swapping network would help push EVs into the mainstream market, improving their practicality.

It is also worth noting that HMSI’s domestic sales figure in FY21-22 stood at 34,68,828 units, which is a 10.27 per cent drop in sales compared to FY20-21, and a 26.30 per cent drop compared to FY19-20.

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