Honda Electric Scooter Coming to India
Electric mopeds, scooters, and bikes are among Honda's EV plans for the Indian two-wheeler market.
Honda is expected to launch electric two-wheelers in India early next year under the Honda brand. Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), the two-wheeler arm of the Japanese automaker, appears to be preparing for the same. According to recent information, Honda's EV products may enter multiple two-wheeler segments. The effort will understandably address the massive popularity that electric two-wheelers have achieved in India in a relatively short period of time.
Updates on Honda's first EV in India have been widely disseminated on the Internet. According to a recent report, the Japanese automaker would prefer to enter the Indian EV market with an electric moped rather than an electric scooter, as many had previously suggested.
Interestingly, we now have a launch date for it. Of course, there are plans to expand into electric scooters and electric bikes, which may eventually replace Honda's 125cc IC engine lineup. Here's everything we know about Honda's electric vehicle plans in India, from its first EV to other EV products.
Honda’s first EV in India
HMSI president, MD, and CEO Atsushi Ogata revealed details on Honda's first electric vehicle in Japan last week. Ogata confirmed to Car&Bike that Honda will launch an electric moped as its first EV product in India next year. He also stated that the launch will occur in April 2023.
The details on this electric moped are scarce, but we do know that Honda will eventually expand its EV lineup to include electric scooters and electric bikes. The top speeds will be used to differentiate the three categories. Here's how they'll work and perform:
1. Honda Electric Bikes - As the foundation of its EV lineup, Honda intends to sell electric bikes or e-bikes in India in the future. These will understandably cater to people who require a green vehicle for daily, short trips. According to Ogata, these e-bikes will have a top speed of 25kmph. There will be no need for these vehicles to be registered as a result of this.
2. Honda Electric Moped - Honda has been manufacturing mopeds for its international markets for decades now. A vehicle in this segment will be Honda's first EV in India, and it will most likely cater to commuters who require a compact vehicle with average speed. The electric mopeds will be limited to a top speed of 50kmph as a result of this.
3. Honda Electric Vehicles - As Honda's EV plans in India progress, the open-end category is likely to include electric scooters, electric bikes (replicating 100cc or higher motorcycles), and even electric cars. So far, we know that these vehicles will have a top speed of more than 50kmph and will most likely be similar to some of Honda's best-selling two-wheelers in the country.
Which begs the question, what will these electric two-wheelers look like? We already know that the first one will be an electric moped. In addition to Honda's EV plans, we anticipate the introduction of an electric scooter in India. Here's what we've learned so far.
Honda Electric Scooter
According to Autocar, Honda has filed multiple patents in India for EVs and EV technologies. According to those, the company may launch an electric scooter similar to the Honda PCX in the country in the coming years. If that is the case, we know that Honda will offer an appealing EV two-wheeler with a range of about 40 kilometers on a single charge and a top speed of around 60 kilometers per hour.
Here's a look at the Honda PCX, which is popular in other parts of the world.
Honda can also expand its electric two-wheeler lineup by capitalizing on the success of its petrol scooters in India. According to reports, the company will launch an electric version of its Honda Activa in India. The e-scooter is expected to be launched in 2024, with a lower price than its 110cc IC engine counterpart.
Taking some cues from this, we can expect Honda to market an electric scooter to the masses. If the EV is priced lower than the petrol variant, expect some compromises in performance, such as a top speed limited to 60kmph or a range of up to 50km on a single charge. In any case, the electric scooter is likely to closely resemble the PCX electric scooter.
It will be interesting to see how Honda handles the transition to EVs in its two-wheeler lineup in India. When it does, the massively popular brand will undoubtedly pose stiff competition to the current players in the electric two-wheeler space. It should be noted, however, that the EV space will not be the firm's primary focus in the coming years.
According to Ogata, Honda still sees untapped potential in the petrol-powered motorcycle segment in India and around the world. As a result, the company's focus will remain the same for at least the next three years. Honda's electric vehicle lineup will be developed as an alternative class of offerings.
We'll be posting updates on Honda's EV plans in India on a regular basis, so stay tuned.