Honda 2Wheelers India is planning to add an electric two-wheeler to its range, to compete with the likes of Ola electric, Ather, etc.
The electric scooter segment in India recently saw a lot of action, with newcomers like Ola Electric and Simple Energy entering the fray. Ather Energy had announced a while back that it is planning to add a new e-scooter to its lineup. As for mainstream manufacturers, there are only two with electric scooters in their range – Bajaj and TVS.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) is planning to enter this market space as well, likely sometime during FY2022-23. HMSI President Atsushi Ogata has confirmed the plans, stating that the manufacturer has been studying the electric two-wheeler market in India, but did not provide any details regarding the upcoming EV.
Earlier this year, Honda BENLY e was spotted undergoing road testing by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). There is no confirmation on whether this will be Honda’s new EV for the Indian market, or if the manufacturer will be introducing a different one. It should also be noted that Honda has announced that it would launch three new electric two-wheelers globally for personal use by 2024.
Honda is also looking to maximise localisation, in order to keep production costs in check. The manufacturer has already begun discussions with its supply chain partners in our country, to procure key components for the forthcoming electric two-wheeler. Also, Honda is also considering exporting said EV to other markets from India.
The upcoming scooter is expected to feature Honda Mobile Power Pack (MPP), which is essentially a swappable battery pack that store electricity generated from renewable energy sources (like solar power). Apart from being practical and environment-friendly, MPP is quite versatile as well; it can be used not just on electric scooters, but on e-rickshaws as well, which currently are in really high demand in the country.
As electric vehicles do not have an IC engine, they require considerably less maintenance, which brings dealership profits down. Honda is currently considering ways to utilise its dealer network and customer touchpoints to prevent any harsh impacts on profitability. Also, the manufacturer will collaborate with its dealers in cities like Bengaluru to determine how to create demand for the MPP battery system.
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