HMSI to skip EV till 2020; reconsidering investment on new capacity
New Delhi: Despite government’s plan to electrify entire two-wheeler fleet upto 150cc by 2025, the country’s second largest manufacturer Honda Motorcycle and Scooters India (HMSI) have decided to give it miss at least till 2020.

Honda has not worked on any EV product development for India.
Honda has not worked on any EV product development for India.

The company which has introduced PCX electric scooter in Japanese and other international markets, feels electric vehicles is a big challenge for a country like India.

“Our R&D in Japan has been developing many EVs but not India specific, rather global,” Minoru Kato, President & CEO, HMSI.

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Kato feels that they still need to study the consumer expectations and requirements, especially in terms of range.

Consumers in international market as compared to Indian are small as well as commuting distance is shorter. Therefore, there is a need to analyze the Indian market, he mentioned.

In Japan, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki are collaborating on battery swapping. However, the company has not started any discussion on bringing the joint project to India.

Contrary to this, all the competitors in India have started working on EV portfolio. Bajaj Auto is expected to drive in an electric two-wheeler by next year. But Honda has not worked on any EV product development for India.

HMSI too, along with many other two wheeler manufacturers agrees that 2025 target for electrifying all vehicles under 150cc is early and there is a need to discuss it further and find a proper solution for transitioning them in EVs.

No New Investment

Talking about the slowing sales in India, Kato mentioned that the company is reconsidering new investments for its product capacity in India given the decline in sales. Nonetheless, it will still continue to invest in new features, new models, and new technology to introduce customers.

HMSI’s domestic sales have declined around 22.7 per cent to 892,690 units since the beginning of this fiscal (April-May). It also saw a decline of 4.41 per cent in its sales and 2 per cent in market share for the financial year 2018-2019 .

For now, the company’s focus for now is to roll out all new products as Bharat Stage-VI (BS-VI) complaint. HMSI also looks forward to revive the sales with newly introduced BS-VI scooter, Activa 125.

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