Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India has no EV in the pipeline at present. However, the company has disclosed now that it will conduct a feasibility study next fiscal.
Minoru Kato, President CEO and MD, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, told The Economic Times recently that the company will import EVs from China for the feasibility study in our market. Kato said:
At present, there is no such (EV launch) plan although Honda has the technology. Next fiscal, we will start a feasibility study in India with products imported from China.
The Japanese two-wheeler brand offers 11 electric scooters in China. Depending on its learnings, the company may decide to import some of those products in our market. The company will most likely manufacture the products locally to offer them at competitive prices. India could get a retro-style product and a modern-looking vehicle with the same electric motor and battery pack.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India had showcased the PCX electric scooter in the concept form at Auto Expo 2018. This model will be too expensive for our market, though. Moreover, its range of 41 km (JC08 test cycle) might be considered too low for its steep price. In Japan, since its launch in Japan in November last year, it's offered only on a lease scheme. In June this year, Kato had stated that the company is open to collaborating with rivals for battery swapping and charging infrastructure.
Meanwhile, rivals are gearing up to launch their respective electric products already. Bajaj Auto will introduce an electric scooter under the Urbanite brand. TVS Motors, on the other hand, plans to introduce its first electric two-wheeler in the current fiscal. The Hosur-based brand will also introduce a solar-powered scooter, although that will be in 2022. Hero Electric has announced its plans to expand its reach in the Indian market with new outlets.
In other updates, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India has launched its first BS-VI product in the Indian market, the Activa 125. The new BS-VI compliant version of the 125 cc scooter is available with prices starting from 67,490*. The new BS-VI compliant 124 cc single-cylinder, fuel-injected engine delivers 6.10 kW (8.29 PS) of peak power at 6,500 rpm as against 6.35 kW (8.63 PS) of the BS-IV version.
Kato said that HMSI is investing INR 2,400 crore for BS-VI upgrade, and all its 16 two-wheeler models will be ready to comply with the new emission norms before the 1 April 2020 deadline.