Japanese automobile manufacturer Honda on Tuesday said it plans to start its battery sharing service for electric rickshaws in India by the end of this year besides charting out strategy to bring its electric two-wheelers in future.
It will also launch flex-fuel bike models in India by 2023 as part of strategy to meet the company’s aim to meet carbon neutrality for all its products and corporate activities by 2050, under which, it will introduce 10 or more electric motorcycle models globally by 2025.
In a statement, Honda said it aims to increase annual sales of electric models to one million units within the next five years, and 3.5 million units — equivalent to 15 per cent of total unit sales — as of 2030.
The company said at present, the size of the global electric motorcycle market is approximately 50 million units a year, and most of them are Electric Mopeds (EMs) and electric bicycles in China.
“However, the market is gradually expanding in other countries as well. In India, for example, sales of EVs (high speed electric two-wheelers), alongside convenient and affordable EMs, is increasing dramatically due to the government’s policies to promote the pursuit of carbon neutrality,” the company said.
Anticipating such market expansion, Honda will introduce electric motorcycles that accommodate a wide range of customer needs, it added.
“In India, Honda is planning to begin its battery sharing service for electric tricycle taxis (so-called rickshaws) by the end of this year,” the company said.
It is also planning to expand its initiatives to popularise battery sharing to other Asian nations.
Honda further said it is working towards the standardisation of swappable batteries, while participating in a battery consortium in Europe, and working with a partner company in India to facilitate the standardisation of swappable batteries.
The company said it is a part of the Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC) established to achieve widespread adoption of electric motorcycles and other small-sized electric mobility products.
At the same time, Honda said it will continue its work on initiatives to advance internal combustion engine vehicles in order to realise carbon neutrality, while accommodating the wide range of customer needs and usage environments unique to motorcycles.
Initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions from ICE models are continuing, Honda said, adding, it is also developing models compatible with carbon neutral fuels such as petrol-ethanol blends.
To be more specific, Honda said, “In addition to Brazil, where flex-fuel (E100) motorcycle models are already available, Honda plans to introduce flex-fuel models in India, as well, one of the major motorcycle markets. The plan is to first introduce flex-fuel (E20) models beginning in 2023, and flex-fuel (E100) models in 2025,” the statement added.
Various blend rates of petrol-ethanol are available with E100 being 100 per cent ethanol, while E20 is 20 per cent ethanol.