Assets electric scooter will rival Ola S1, Bajaj Chetak, TVS iQube and the upcoming Suzuki Burgman Electric
As the electric two-wheeler segment begins to mature, mainstream manufacturers are targeting this area. Over the next few years we could see multiple EV products from Hero MotoCorp, Suzuki, Yamaha, KTM and Husqvarna. Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) is also expected to launch its first EV in India.
Honda Activa electric scooter
Assets is the best selling scooter in the country and the best selling product in Honda’s India portfolio. Using the same nameplate to launch an electric scooter can work to the company’s advantage. It will be easier for users to connect to the USPs of the brand such as reliability, performance and longevity.
The Activa nameplate makes it easier for Honda to break into the EV space and quickly establish a strong presence. Atsushi Ogata, president of HMSI, has confirmed to ET Auto that the company will have its first electric car for India ready next fiscal year.
It is not known whether Honda will develop an all-new EV product for India or use a modified version of any of its existing electric two-wheelers currently available in international markets. Anyway, not much can be said about what the product will look like and what features it will offer.
So far, the Benly e-scooter is Honda’s only electric two-wheeler product to be seen in India. It was spotted during testing at Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). In its home market of Japan, Honda offers several models, including Benly e:I, Benly e:I Pro, Benly e:II and Benly e:II Pro. The company also has other electric two-wheelers such as PCX Electric, Gyro e: and Gyro canopy e:
Benly e: and its variants are primarily intended for last-mile deliveries in B2B and B2C space. However, things like powertrain and other hardware can easily be used to build a commuter electric scooter. Since Benly e has already been spotted here, there is a good chance that it can be used as a base for the Activa electric scooter.
Honda Activa electric scooter is likely to be offered with interchangeable batteries. The strategy could be similar to EV players like Bounce who offer both standard ownership plans and subscriptions.
Users have the option to buy the scooter with or without a battery. In the latter case, the price is significantly reduced. Users must pay a monthly subscription, along with a fee, each time they exchange an empty battery for a fully charged one.
Honda has big plans in the EV space and has already established a new subsidiary to manufacture battery packs. Formed with a capital of Rs 135 crore, this new subsidiary is registered in Bengaluru. It will meet the battery requirements of electric two-wheelers and electric auto rickshaws. By producing battery packs locally, Honda should be able to launch Activa electric scooters and other EVs at a competitive price.