When news broke in early June, 2021, that Honda India was testing its Mobile Power Packs in India, a few questions naturally came to mind. First and foremost, what vehicles was Honda intending to use them in? Secondly, could Indian customers expect to see them on the market any time soon?
While we still can’t answer the second question, we now have an answer to the first. The somewhat vague initial answer that accompanied news of Honda’s Mobile Power Pack testing was that they’d show up in electric rickshaws of some sort.
We’re not certain if that’s an entirely accurate description of the Honda Benly:e, but that’s exactly what Motorbeam reader Atharva Belamkar spotted out in the wild. Thinking fast, Belamkar shot the video you see here, capturing the Benly:e out testing for all the world to witness.
Motorbeam reports that the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI, not related to the helmet manufacturer) is currently conducting tests with one of Honda’s premiere commercial electric scooters. Given the popularity of scooters and small-displacement bikes across India, bringing this particular scoot over as a test mule makes total sense.
Will the more business-oriented Gyro:e three-wheeler soon follow? It seems unlikely that Honda would bring only one electric vehicle to the market that uses its swappable Mobile Power Pack, but it’s all speculation at this point. What we can say is that, since both delivery vehicles and three-wheelers are an important part of everyday life in India, it seems like a definite possibility.
What is ARAI, and why would it be testing this vehicle? It’s a branch of the Indian federal government with plenty of tasks—not the least of which is certification and standardization of vehicles for the Indian market. It also helps Indian OEMs with export homologation services for other markets, as well. While we can’t venture a guess as to how soon it might happen, that makes it seem more likely that the Benly:e will show up in Honda India showrooms in the not-too-distant future.