We’ve been watching Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India with interest over the past few years, and not just because of the H’Ness CB350 (although we still want one). As with most legacy OEMs in 2022, HMSI’s approach to the future of transportation in India is multi-pronged and carefully designed to cater to as many groups of potential riders as possible. While that includes middleweights like the H’Ness CB350, it also includes entry-level combustion machines—as well as flex-fuel and electric options.
On April 21, 2022, HMSI officially announced the broad strokes of a roadmap for India. By moving forward with “multiple EV models” as well as flex-fuel options, Honda aims to cover its bases in terms of emissions reduction. There’s also a plan to enter the low-end motorcycle segment in India with a 100cc or equivalent model aimed primarily at commuters.
Notably, the company didn’t give any real details about any of these plans at this time. Information such as a general timeframe, as well as how many EVs and flex-fuel vehicles HMSI plans to release isn’t available just yet. Instead, Honda touched on its success in flex-fuel implementation in Brazil, which it hopes to achieve in India as well. It also said that it’s at the feasibility study stage of EV development, as well as assessment of the EV infrastructure ecosystem within the market overall.
“Bringing the synergies of Honda’s global expertise with strong indigenous support, HMSI will further expand its horizons in India. A staggered implementation of flex-fuel technology and multiple EV model introduction in future will lead to an exciting journey ahead,” HMSI president, CEO, and managing director Atsushi Ogata said in a statement.
“HMSI also plans to enter low-end motorcycle segment while boosting its new fun models’ business in domestic markets. Parallely expanding its wings overseas, HMSI aims to serve more developed countries with its highest level of global quality standards,” he concluded.
Back in 2020, HMSI senior vice president of sales and marketing, Yadvinder Singh Guleria, said that Honda was bringing an electric scooter to India expressly for the purpose of a feasibility study. By June, 2021, it was revealed that Honda was testing its Mobile Power Pack for use in the Indian market—though for exactly which applications wasn’t clear at the time. Later that same month, a Honda Benly:E scooter was caught testing on the road by an eagle-eyed motorbike fan.
Honda’s workhorse EVs, including the Benly:E and Gyro:E, seem like natural fits for any market looking to electrify its hardworking urban delivery fleets and urban delivery vehicles. Of course, we’re not an OEM, and our opinions remain strictly that: opinions. Still, it will be interesting to see how HMSI’s electrification plans shake out in India going forward.