Honda Motorcyles and Two Wheelers India (HMSI) is working on a slew of electric vehicles for the Indian market, and the first electric scooter from the brand will be priced less than the petrol powered Honda Activa, said Atsushi Ogata – the President of HMSI. He also added that HMSI is aiming at capturing 30 % market share in India’s electric two wheeler market by 2030. To achieve this, Honda plans to launch at least three new electric two wheelers by 2030, and that company hopes to sell at least a million EVs through these launches.
Here’s what Mr. Ogata said,
We have completed the feasibility study. Our first electric product is under development. We expect the market for electric two-wheelers will reach around 3 million units by 2030. We want to bring in multiple models and have a 30% share in this category by the end of the decade. The first electric two-wheeler will deliver a top speed of 60 km per hour. The vehicle will be positioned below Honda Activa, which comes tagged between ₹72,000-75,000 (ex-showroom). With this product, we are targeting customers who are looking at electric two-wheelers as an additional option. It will be an affordable mid-range product for wheelers as an additional option. It will be an affordable mid-range product for specific use cases.
Currently, only two legacy two wheeler brands – Bajaj Auto and TVS Motors – have a significant presence in the electric two wheeler space, which is dominated by start-ups such as Okinawa, Ather and Ola. Soon, all this will change as nearly every legacy two wheeler brand will launch competitive electric scooters. Yamaha has confirmed plans that it’s working on electric scooters for India, and so has Suzuki.
Honda has even gone to the extent of revealing the top-speed and price level at which it plans to position its first EV while Hero MotoCorp will get into the EV space as early as next week through the Vida sub-brand. Notably, Hero MotoCorp is a major investor in India’s best known electric vehicle start-up Ather, and also retails Ather electric scooters through Hero dealerships.
Even TVS Motors has a major stake in Ultraviolette, a high performance electric two wheeler company headquartered at Bangalore. Once legacy players enter the electric two wheeler space, it would be interesting to see how start-ups cope. Legacy players come with decades of engineering, manufacturing and distribution experience, and are likely to give EV start-ups a big run for their money.