Honda 2Wheelers India open to collaborate with rivals for electric two-wheelers - Report

18/06/2019 - 11:24 | ,  ,   | Suvil Susvirkar

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India plans to stay away from electric two-wheeler space until 2020, but it is open to partner with rivalling brands to develop electric mobility solutions in our country.

Honda PCX Electric Concept front right quarter at 2018 Auto Expo
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India is open to teaming up with its rivals to create a support infrastructure for electric two-wheelers such as battery swapping and charging network.

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The Japanese two-wheeler manufacturer stated that it is open to collaborating with its rivals such as Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Company. Honda plans to tackle the address the challenges related to charging and infrastructure with its partner. Do note that the four major Japanese two-wheeler brands – Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki – have adopted a similar strategy in their homeland.

However, no detailed discussions have begun yet. Speaking about the developments and the company’s willingness to partner with its rivals in the Indian market for electric mobility, Minoru Kato, President and CEO, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, said that collaboration is possible for battery swapping and charging infrastructure. He added:

No concrete discussion has been initiated so far. We are yet to make any formal proposal.

Expressing his views about the reportedly proposed deadline for mass electrification of two-wheelers, Kato said that 2025 is too early for having 100% electric. Honda is not the only manufacturer to express concerns about the proposed deadline. Manufacturers like Bajaj Auto, TVS Motor Company and Piaggio India have also spoken about the issues around the deadline for mass electrification.

TVS Motor Company’s Chairman, Venu Srinivasan said that the unrealistic deadline for mass adoption of electric two and three-wheelers may create consumer discontent and risk derailing auto-manufacturing in India. Bajaj Auto's Managing Director, Rajiv Bajaj, also raised three execution-related concerns. Bajaj said in a press release earlier this month:

First, that it may be impractical to target such a scale when none of the stakeholders currently possess any meaningful experience with any of the pieces of the EV puzzle. Secondly, that it is ill-timed to target a date so close to BS VI implementation. And finally, to target two- and three-wheelers but not cars etc makes it an incomplete initiative.

Honda PCX Electric cockpit
Honda had announced earlier this month that it has no plans to enter the electric two-wheeler space until 2020.

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Do note that both, TVS Motor Company and Bajaj Auto are ready to roll out their first electric vehicle in the current fiscal. Apart from its electric two-wheeler, TVS Motor Company will reveal its solar-powered scooter that was seen via leaked patent images.


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