After Bajaj, Suzuki and TVS Motors, Honda Joins The Electric Fray
Published On Jan 21, 2020 By Gaurav Sadanand
Honda will begin testing its electric two-wheeler in India towards the end of 2020 to gauge customer response
- Honda’s upcoming EV could go up against the Bajaj Chetak and Ather 450.
- Swappable batteries a possibility with the upcoming EV.
- Honda is currently waiting on the charging infrastructure to come up in India.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India will soon be looking at electric prospects for India after it revamps its petrol-powered portfolio to comply with BS6 emission norms. The brand has announced that it will begin testing a new electric two-wheeler before the end of 2020 to gauge customer response. Honda hasn’t revealed any details, so it’s unclear if the EV will be a scooter or a motorcycle. But here’s what we believe...
It could go two ways. Honda could either play it safe by betting on an electric scooter or take the plunge and develop an electric motorcycle. We feel it would most likely be the former as the brand’s strength lies in its scooter division, at least here in India. Why change what already works? Moreover, the company has reportedly been showcasing its PCX electric scooter to dealers across India to measure demand, further strengthening our speculation.
Do note, though, that Honda’s future plans don’t include bringing the PCX to India -- not anytime soon at least. Minoru Kato, President, CEO and MD, HMSI, has already clarified this in a statement during the Activa 6G launch event. So what are we looking at here?
If we date back to the 2018 Auto Expo, you would probably remember the Japanese manufacturer showcasing the PCX and its swappable battery tech, hinting that it could possibly get it to India. So, we could expect the upcoming e-scooter to sport similar features. It may also offer specs that are on par if not better than the Ather 450 and the Bajaj Chetak.
To be more specific, we expect an electric scooter that offers between 70-90km per charge and a top speed of around 60-80kmph. The company may even offer different charging solutions, from your average 5amp charging socket to a fast charger to battery swapping tech. However, the battery swapping depends on the infrastructure, something Honda isn’t too confident about at the moment.
Honda isn’t the only brand looking to switch sides -- we also have companies like TVS Motors, Hero Motocorp, Suzuki and Yamaha who will soon have electric offerings for the Indian market.