The Japanese manufacturer needs to make investments before launching these models so a transparent EV policy must be implemented
Pollution is the biggest problem globally and most of the countries are leaning towards green vehicles to keep the pollution level under control. China is the biggest car market and the government is giving lots of support for EV’s which is why most of the manufacturer is developing and launching EV products exclusive for them. In India also pollution is a big factor but the government is not taking right initiatives to move forward.
Even though the government is planning to introduce BSVI instead of BSV, which is similar to the latest Euro emission norms. This will reduce harmful gases coming from vehicles considerably but it will be present on some level. The Indian government has announced that they want 100 percent of public transport and 40 percent of personal vehicles to be electric by 2030. But EV is not everything as hybrid vehicles are also important in the transformation.
The government was giving some benefits for hybrid vehicles via FAME scheme but the tax structure after implementing of GST and then CESS mean that most of these imported hybrid vehicles price have gone up. Honda is one of the main manufacturers to get affected by this as the Accord hybrid was imported to India so the price has significantly gone up. Even though it was priced at a premium first, Honda got good number but after the price hike the sales have significantly dropped.
Rajesh Goel, Senor VP and Director Marketing and Sales said that even if volumes are low they will still continue to sell Accord as they want to showcase to the customers these new technologies. Honda was planning to sell more than 100 Accord annually but they are not even close to their target as the company currently import them in 30 batch units after getting confirmed order.
When asked about whether they will bring green vehicles to India, Goel said that they will only bring vehicles if the policy is concrete as they can’t introduce vehicles with current plans. Globally, Honda has lots of hybrid and EV vehicles so it’s not about technology as they are already ready with it. The Japanese manufacturer needs to make investments before launching these models so a transparent EV policy must be implemented. Honda is running similar program in other countries so they just need to make changes for India to make these technologies work here.
The company announced that by 2030 two third of its production will be either hybrid, fuel cell or electric vehicles. To make these possible, India will also play an important role. If other manufacturers launch EVs and get good numbers in India, then the company will think about it or unless the government must give a clear EV plan. Honda was the first manufacturer to introduce hybrid vehicle in India which is Civic. We can expect the government to announce EV plans soon which will attract more manufacturers to bring green vehicles to India.