Amidst Indian government recent 'EV Only' proposals doing rounds of discussions tables, Honda has shown initiative and come forward amongst the two-wheelers leaders to join forces for the next electric ride
HMSI (Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India) stated that the company is open to collaborating with its rivals such as Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Company to figure out electric mobility solutions for India. The company plans to tackle the challenges related to charging infrastructure.
However, no serious developments have been yet made by HMSI. The company is yet to make any formal proposals. Minoru Kato, President and CEO of HMSI said that collaborations are possible at the areas of battery swapping and charging infrastructure.\ He also added that 2025 is too early for having 100% electric line-up.
Venu Srinivasan, TVS Motor company’s chairman said that forcing unrealistic deadline for mass adoption of electric two and three-wheeler vehicles will risk derailing auto-manufacturing in India.
Government has recently proposed a new plan of making all two-wheelers (up to 150cc) electric by 2025, which contributes 90 % of the total two-wheeler market in India. This has resulted in a major face-off between the manufacturers and the government as the former finds it difficult to achieve this target.
Currently, the Indian two-wheeler segment is dominated by Hero MotoCorp that commands 39.3 % of market share, followed by Honda (29.1%), Bajaj Auto (19.3%) and TVS Motor (12.3%). While some have voiced their concerns publicly, the country’s second largest two-wheeler maker Honda Motorcycles & Scooter has completely denied any plans for e-two-wheelers in India any time soon. Collectively, top four manufacturers produce over 16.1 lakh two-wheelers under 150cc segment in a month of total monthly sales of 17.2 lakh units (in May 2019).
Some radical changes in the two-wheeler sector can be expected as the market leader Hero may bear the brunt as electrification of up to 150 cc will take away almost 98 % of the company’s business. The company says, to de-risk from the eventuality, it is engaged in developing innovative and advanced technologies for future mobility, including electric vehicles (EVs). It has also invested Rs 130 crore in Ather Energy, an electric two-wheeler startup. But to survive the mandate it will need to electrify its complete product portfolio to brace the change as in when it comes.