Honda says it will test its Chinese electric scooters in India for a year

It was revealed by YS Guleria, Sr. VP, Sales & Marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India last year that India’s best-selling scooter brand will conduct a study in India for electric scooters from the first quarter of the next fiscal (April-June 2020) before deciding on the products. While many including us thought that HMSI would be bringing down the PCX Electric as Honda recently showcased the e-scooter at a dealers’ meet, the Japanese auto brand has confirmed that this won’t be the case and it is looking towards China to import vehicles.

We will start testing an electric vehicle in India that will be imported from China. It won’t be the PCX though. The testing and studying of the EV will go on for about a year. Based on that feedback we will decide about electric vehicles.

Minoru Kato, President, CEO and MD, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India

Brands like Okinawa, Eeve, Benling, Rowwet, Avera, Revolt and Hero Electric import Chinese models and rebrand them, so it was logical for Honda to call up its Chinese joint venture for a quick fix to the EV needs of the Indian product & marketing team.

While the electric scooter segment is getting hotter every day in 2020, Honda wants the charging infrastructure in India to develop before launching its products. Bajaj Auto became the first large scale two-wheeler brand to launch an electric scooter in the form of Chetak and there are several brands like Ather, TVS and Okinawa who are lining up new products this year. Other major OEMs like Suzuki, Hero and Yamaha also plan to enter the space at some point in 2-3 years.

Honda currently has several electric scooters in China (display image, a screengrab from the Honda Sundiro website) and it is unknown which model would be brought to India. It is unlikely that a scooter like the V-GO would be imported as it has limited seating space. The Honda H12 looks suitable with its longer seat, storage solutions and Grazia-like design.