Honda Activa Electric: Can it be a successful Activa variant?
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) is working on several projects involving electric vehicles. The main area is electric scooters for India. While markets like Japan have electric scooters as a lifestyle product, it will be a different ball game for Honda to make EVs for India. First is the cost factor and second is the range, which will help it find acceptability with customers. We may soon see a Honda Activa Electric scooter on our roads. Honda is the leader is scooter sales by a big margin. An electric vehicle with the Activa brand name could do wonders. Though, what brand will Honda adopt is yet unknown, there is a fair chance that the Activa brand will be retained, to cash upon its popularity. Activa is a household name and Honda would like to continue using this brand even for its electric scooters.
The Honda Activa Electric will be an all new scooter and will have a modern design. Though utilitarian, it will have features like LED headlamps, LED tail lamps, fully digital instrument cluster, anti-theft warning, fast charging, eco and power riding modes and good storage space. The range of the scooter is expected to be minimum 100 kilometers and go upto 200 kilometers when ridden in economy mode. The scooter is expected to have a lithium-ion battery, that will make it lighter and also have a longer life.
Minoru Kato, president and CEO of HMSI has confirmed that said that work on electric scooters is being carried out at Honda’s headquarters in Japan. The development is being carried out with inputs from the Indian operations as well. Kato also added that while Honda has a global experience in electric two-wheelers, it is a struggle to meet the expectations of customers when looking at mass models for a market like India.
Pricing and the range of the scooter are the two most important aspects that matter in a market like India. It is imperative to strike a right balance between the two. India has always been a fuel efficiency sensitive market and the same would apply to electric vehicles as well. As per Kato, Honda is targeting a minimum range of 100kms in the electric scooter, on a single charge. The timeline for the launch of the scooter is yet unknown, but we expect it to be rolled out sometime by late 2019. This move by Honda will trigger the electric scooter competition with other brands like Ather, Okinawa and Hero Electric, all of whom have electric scooters available readily in the market.
Honda Activa 6g Electric₹ 85,000
The exact details are yet unknown as of now. However, we can expect the Honda Activa Electric to cost around Rs. 85,000 on road. There is a likelihood of the taxes being lowered for import of batteries. This may positively impact the prices of electric scooters. The price may also differ if Honda offers different sets of battery power. Or also offers a base lead acid battery for entry level scooters
The Honda Activa Electric is expected to be launched by late 2019. Currently, the scooter is under development in Honda’s R&D centre in Japan. For the development, inputs will be taken from the Indian market and a bench marking of Indian electric scooters is also being done. This scooter will compete with the Okinawa Praise which is one of the most talked about electric scooters in India. In fact, check out below our series of videos where we take the Okinawa Prasie to Leh and test it thoroughly.
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Honda Activa ElectricRange
The Activa Electric is expected to have a minimum range of 100 kms on a single charge. It may have a maximum range of 200 kms, in economy mode and this may be on a higher variant.
Normal Charging time8 Hours
Fast Charging time1-2 hours
The Honda Activa Electric is expected to have a 1000 watt motor to power the scooter. The top speed of the scooter can be estimated at 75 km/h. It will come with a Lithium-Ion battery that will get fast charging as well. For a full charge, the scooter might take around eight hours. With the fast charging, it will take one to two hours to charge fully. we expect this kind of mass product to help with fast charging stations to crop up in the country everywhere.
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Not much is yet known about the design, however, we expect the Activa Electric to have a modern design. The body panels will probably be made of plastic, rather than metal. This will reduce the weight and will be beneficial in providing a longer range. The Activa electric scooter will have an LED headlamp and and LED tail lamp. There will be alloy wheels. Disc brakes should come as standard on these. The seats will be broad and long, to accommodate two riders with ease. Storage spaces on the scooter will also be good. The Activa Electric will be targeted towards the metro city dwellers, hence Honda will try and make it stylish and practical.