- The Honda Benly e has been previously spotted during on-road testing in India
- This e-scooter is already available in China and Japan
- Among the key characteristics of the Benly e is its swappable battery system
While electric cars in India are a relatively new phenomenon, the same can’t be said about electric scooters. With the likes of Ola, Ather, TVS, and others currently dominating the electric scooter segment, Japanese manufacturer Honda is preparing for its own e-scooter launch in the country. Known as the Benly e, the Honda scooter has been spotted in the past on multiple occasions. The vehicle is now prepping for its long overdue India release, with the manufacturer gearing up to produce the scooter at the Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) unit in Manesar, Haryana.
The CEO, Managing Director, and President of HMSI, Atsushi Ogata detailed the company’s plans for the e-scooter segment in an interview with ETAuto back in April. “Based on our experience in China and Japan, customers find e-scooters easier to ride. Even in China, the majority of EVs are e-scooters and only a few e-motorcycles,” Ogata told the publication.
The Japanese manufacturer is hoping to make some ripples in the Indian scooter market by launching a swappable battery system for the Benly e. However, the company will need to build the necessary infrastructure and network across the country to make this work pan India. Battery swapping stations are not new to the world of electric vehicles, with companies like Ola and Hero also proposing similar outlets to further the idea of swapping batteries rather than waiting for the battery to charge.
To offer a robust chain of battery swapping stations across the country, Honda said it has partnered with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL). In theory, this would enable customers of the Honda Benly e to visit their nearest HPCL outlet to swap the battery on the scooter.
Honda Benly e electric scooter features, design, and specifications
The Benly e was first unveiled in 2019 in Tokyo and was eventually launched across Japan and China. It was spotted testing in Bengaluru and Pune this year, which is a strong indicator of its imminent release.
Based on the design of the scooter, it’s clear that this vehicle would mostly appeal to delivery personnel. The inclusion of a carrier on the back makes it easy to transport larger items. However, this also means that the Benly e doesn’t offer a seat for the pillion rider. Honda also touts the silent operation of the e-scooter, something that is to be expected from an electric vehicle.
Customers should be able to get the Benly e in “I” and “I Pro” variants, with both selling in a solitary Ross White colour variant. The Benly e I and the I Pro produce up to 12Nm of peak torque, assisted by the 2.8 kW electric motor. The range is expected to be around 87 km on a single charge, which should be fine for riding within the city. Honda’s e-scooter offers a miserly top speed of 30 kmph.
Separately, the company also offer the Benly e II and II Pro models, bearing a 4.2 kW electric motor capable of delivering 15 Nm of peak torque. These models offer double the top speed at 60 kmph but with a shorter range of only 43 km. The scooters feature two 0.99 kWh batteries by default, with the ability to swap just one or both of them.
Honda Benly e electric scooter price
While the scooter hasn’t been officially announced for India, it seems like a mere formality at this point, given that it’s already undergoing on-road testing in the region. But based on the pricing set in China and Japan, we can estimate that the Benly e models would cost somewhere in the range of Rs 1,00,000 or below.