The exponential surge in the sales of electric scooters in recent times by new players in the market is finally encouraging the established names to make a switch to electric mobility. TVS took note of the change and updated its iQube range of scooters, and now, Honda has revealed its game plan for the electric scooter category.
During the launch of the new Honda CB 300F, Atsushi Ogata, Managing Director, President and CEO of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) said that the Japanese two-wheeler major will be entering the electric scooter space by early 2023. While the news of Honda entering the electric two-wheeler market was already doing news, the bossman at Honda has confirmed the company’s early arrival in the market himself.
While Ogata confirmed the launch of an electric scooter from Honda by early 2023, he refrained from revealing more details about the scooter, such as its name and technical details. For this new electric scooter, HMSI is developing a new team, which will work in collaboration with Honda Motorcycle, Japan for developing a scooter suiting the Indian requirements. In Japan, Honda already has a range of electric scooters, though it will be developing a whole new model for India, just like how it did with the Activa.
Ogata also confirmed that the company will pitch this new e-scooter as the ‘Activa’ of electric scooters. He said that Honda is creating a ‘futuristic Activa’, which will cater to the urban and semi-urban audience with its short-distance range. At the same time, Ogata also confirmed that the current 110cc Activa will continue to be Honda’s focus model for long-distance travel for urban riding duties, at least for the next five years.
Honda promoting the new electric scooter as the ‘Activa’ of new-generation e-scooters might be a smart move by the Japanese company. The Activa is undeniably the most popular scooter of the 21st century, and still holds the title of India’s highest-selling two-wheeler. In the FY 2021-22, Honda sold more than 17 lakh units of the Activa.
Adding more information about Honda’s electric mobility plans, Ogata said that Honda will be focusing more on the highest possible levels of localization by using locally developed motors, batteries and ECU, to keep the costs in check. Given the current challenges of limited charging infrastructure, Honda is open to exploring the possibilities in battery swapping and charging methods for this new electric scooter and more models in the future. Honda Power Pack Energy India, a subsidiary of Honda Motor, has already set up battery swapping stations in Bengaluru for electric rickshaws.