Japanese auto major Honda Motor Co has started working on electric vehicles keeping in mind India’s push for such automobiles but said a clear road map is required for successful commercial launch. The company, which operates in India through a wholly-owned arm Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL), has already put in place a separate team in its research and division unit for electric vehicles since last year, a senior company official said.
“We are aware of India government’s push for all electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030. Globally also there is a push for EVs. So we (Honda) have started working on development of such vehicles,” HCIL President and CEO Yoichiro Ueno told PTI here. Honda has already stated that two-thirds of its global sales would come from electrified vehicles by 2030.
“Already Honda has set up a separate unit for electric vehicles in its R&D which will focus on development of both body and power train for electric vehicles,” Ueno said. When asked how soon can the company commercially launch an electric vehicle in India, he said it would depend on many factors.
“We need a proper road map from the government, standardisation of specifications and charging infrastructure are required,” he added. Highlighting the need for government support, Ueno said under the present circumstances the price of an electric version of an existing model would be twice of that. “So, we will communicate our plans on electric vehicles for India at an appropriate time,” he said.
When pressed if all the necessary steps were taken how soon could Honda bring electric vehicle in India, Ueno said the company would be ready to do so by early period of 2020s. He, however, said the road to electric vehicles must be bridged through hybrids for a smooth transition, allowing battery technology to develop and become more affordable.