Honda Banks Big On Hybrids, Midsize SUV To Get City Hybrid Tech?

Honda SUV e-concept 1

Honda has commenced the feasibility study of launching EVs in India while banking big on strong hybrid technology for the near future

Honda Cars India has commenced a feasibility study for introducing pure electric vehicles in the domestic market with an aim to make two-thirds of its local range into zero-emission vehicles by the end of this decade. It comes on the back of receiving good response for the City Hybrid launched in May 2022 in India with a claimed fuel efficiency of 26.5 kmpl.

The feasibility study for EVs and flex-fuel vehicles is part of the brand trying to bring in more electrified vehicles into the market in the next fiscal. According to Honda’s Chief Executive, Takuya Tsumura: “Honda is also preparing (an EV) for launch in the future. We are studying about that. Anyway, it is good that Tata, Mahindra and other brands are now making it (EVs) more popular,”

He also pointed out the GST allocation of 5 per cent for electric vehicles in comparison to 45 per cent for regular IC-engined passenger cars and 43 per cent for hybridised vehicles. Honda believes in launching strong hybrid vehicles as the safer solution for reducing vehicular emissions in the near future as it could instigate the “smooth transition of the Indian automobile industry towards full electrics,”

Honda SUV e-concept 2
Honda SUV e-concept (Representational)

In the global markets, Honda is planning to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and is planning to roll out two million electric cars, courtesy of 30 BEVs. For India, Tsumura said that everything regarding EVs is in the planning stage as the hybrid technology is conceived to be the reasonable step. He further noted that a few amongst the 30 upcoming EVs will need to be brought into India.

Currently, more than 8 per cent of the City midsize sedan’s sales come from the strong hybrid variant. With Honda emphasising strong hybrid tech, we can expect a similar hybrid system found in the City Hybrid to be used in the speculation midsize SUV codenamed 3RA. It will reportedly go on sale in the early stages of 2024 in India.

With the Japanese auto major looking to strengthen its SUV portfolio, it is expected to launch an all-new compact SUV based on the Amaze by the middle of next calendar year.