ZigOpinion: What We’d Like To See From Honda’s First Electric Moped For India

Honda’s first electric two-wheeler for India will reportedly be a moped instead of a scooter. Here’s what to expect and what we’d like to see:

Honda E-moped launch ZigOpinion

Honda recently revealed grand plans to meet its carbon neutrality target and this includes the launch of multiple EVs as well as flex-fuel two-wheelers. Interestingly, recent reports suggest that Honda’s first electric two-wheeler offering for the Indian market will be an electric moped with a top speed limited to 50kmph. Here’s what we think about the EV:

What To Expect?

Honda U-Go Side

Well, in June this year, Honda filed a design patent application for the Honda U-Go electric moped here. Sure, Honda has a track record of patenting things that aren’t meant for the Indian market (read: Honda CBR250RR, Vario, CRF190L, among others), but, with Honda’s reported plans, the U-Go certainly seems to be the ideal e-moped to start its electric innings here. 

Its design is sleek and trendy enough to appeal to a wide audience, plus it will get Honda’s swappable battery system for minimal downtime while charging. The U-Go comes with a claimed range of 75km and a top speed of 53kmph. 

Honda U-Go Patent

With two battery packs installed, the range can be extended to 130km. Moreover, by the time Honda launches the e-moped, which will be next year, customers will also have the comfort of having a fairly well-planned swapping network thanks to Honda’s partnership with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) to set up battery swapping centres across the country at HP outlets. 

What We’d Like To See:

Honda U-Go Rear

If Honda indeed launches the U-Go, then it will all boil down to the pricing. To give you some perspective, the Hero Electric Photon, with a top-speed of over 45kmph retails at Rs 80,790 (ex-showroom Delhi, including FAME 2 subsidy). In all probability, Honda will likely price its first two-wheeled EV similar to the Photon, around Rs 80,000 (ex-showroom). That would make it fairly more expensive than the Honda Activa 6G, which retails from Rs 72,400 (ex-showroom Delhi). 

And if Honda were to price it that way, then it will have to be packed with modern features to justify the price tag. That means, the all-LED lighting in the U-Go will have to be carried over in the India-spec bike. Other features in the e-moped sold abroad, including the USB charging port and the anti-theft alarm, will also have to be carried over as well.

On the flip side, if Honda plans to undercut the Activa 6G by pricing the e-moped competitively, then it will give up on features such as all-LED lighting, USB charging port, and anti-theft alarm. Having said that, it’s unlikely Honda will go this route as it has always been pricing its products at a premium over its rivals’ products.

Honda Activa Electric Alternatives

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