October 04, 2023

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The future of Honda’s electric two-wheelers in India looks bright

The future of Honda’s electric two-wheelers in India looks bright

Electric scooters with fixed battery packs and removable batteries are planned for India


Not that one could ever accuse Honda of being lax in the Indian market, but the Japanese giant is getting serious about its product line-up for our country. It recently launched the Shine 100, its first-ever 100cc commuter, to take Hero head-on in that hugely competitive segment, and has big plans for upcoming launches too.

At Shine’s launch, Honda announced several brand-new models for India, including multiple electric scooters. Here’s the full list.




Honda 350cc cruiser bike

Honda’s CB350 platform currently offers the H’ness retro motorcycle and the CB350RS, which sports a cafe racer vibe. These bikes allow Honda to take on the Royal Enfield Classic 350 and Hunter 350, but not the Meteor 350. That could change shortly.

Honda has stated that it will launch its 350cc motorcycle by Diwali this year. Our educated guess is that this will be a cruiser to rival the Meteor. Expect it to sport the same 348cc long-stroke engine as the existing bikes, though perhaps with some tweaks. Bottom-end grunt (something you expect from a cruiser) isn’t necessarily a trademark of this engine, and Honda could play around with gearing and sprockets to compensate for this.

If the upcoming bike hopes to make a dent in Meteor sales, it will need to be priced in the same ballpark. So you can expect it to sit around the Rs 2 lakh to 2.2 lakh mark (ex-showroom). Honda says the bike will be here by November, but you can expect a launch earlier than that, around the festive season.




Two brand-new Honda electric scooters

FY24 will also see Big Red debut in the burgeoning electric two-wheeler segment, with two brand-new offerings. Both will be electric scooters but differ in their powertrain. The first will sport a fixed battery pack, likely housed in the floorboard (as seen in patent drawings we uncovered), while the second will employ a removable battery pack. The latter will most likely leverage the Honda Mobile Power Pack battery, which is being gradually deployed at swapping stations across the country. It’s also possible that Honda could leverage the massive brand value of the Activa and call either one or both of these scooters the Activa electric or e-Activa. The recently revealed e-Burgman electric scooter from Suzuki does something similar.



Introducing 125cc scooter and 160cc bike from Honda

There are more plans for petrol-powered cars this year. Also on the cards for FY24 are the introduction of 125cc scooters and 160cc motorcycles. The former is likely to share its underpinnings with the Activa 125 and may be dressed in a sporty suit. This is to take on the TVS NTorq and Suzuki Avenis. The latter is tipped to borrow its engine from the X-blade and Unicorn, though there are no clues as to what direction Honda will take with this bike. Perhaps we could see an ADV-esque guise, as Honda has done with the CB200X based on the Hornet 2.0.




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