On October 19, 2022, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India CEO Atsushi Ogata made an important announcement at the International Conference on Biofuels in New Delhi. The Indian government is currently working on its roadmap regarding flex-fuel vehicles, and although the details are still fuzzy, HMSI intends to be ready. 

“Our internal target is [a] minimum [of] one model, the first model of flexi-fuel motorcycle, to be launched by the end of 2024,” Ogata said. He added that HMSI is currently waiting for stronger direction from the Indian government before the company finalizes its plans.  

The national government currently plans to roll out 20 percent ethanol fuel blends in certain parts of the country, starting in April, 2023. India is currently the world’s third-largest oil importer and consumer, according to Reuters—so it’s looking for ways to blend ethanol and vegetable oil into its gasoline and diesel stores. By 2025 or 2026, the country plans to roll that 20 percent ethanol standard out nationwide. 

How will this fuel change impact Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India’s short- and long-term model plans? Ogata said that all existing engines can already successfully utilize a 20 percent ethanol blend, so it shouldn’t be an issue as far as riders of its products are concerned. 

Back in April, 2022, HMSI first spoke publicly about its plans to pursue a multi-pronged approach to emissions reduction. While the company is also actively pursuing electrification, it’s also keen to reduce emissions by other means, as long as they achieve the desired goals. 

EV development is only one piece of the puzzle, and it won’t work effectively anywhere if the infrastructure isn’t also built to properly support it. Multiple pieces of the puzzle have to fall into place for the public to broadly adopt a completely new way of doing things. It’s certainly not impossible, but it remains a goal that will definitely require more work in the short term in most places, including India. 

Elsewhere, Honda has already had success with flexi-fuel implementation in Brazil, with some of its motorcycle models—an effect that it hopes to replicate in India when the time comes. Moto Honda da Amazonia Ltda, a Brazilian Honda subsidiary, introduced the CG150 Titan Max to the market back in 2009, and it hasn’t looked back since. As and when we have more information about flexi-fuel models and their specifications, we will be sure to keep you updated. 

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