Japanese car major Honda plans to launch an affordable, mass-market hybrid model in India in the next three years, a top company official said earlier. The company, which is present in the country through a wholly-owned subsidiary, Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL), has already announced to introduce six models with conventional powertrains over the next three years. It has already launched all new Amaze and all fifth generation CR-V in the country and also plans to drive in new Civic later this financial year.
"In three years we will launch ... a mass (market), affordable, electrified vehicle," HCIL President and CEO Gaku Nakanishi told reporters here. He said that the vehicle would not be in the category of Accord Hybrid but in the volume generating affordable segment. When asked if the model would be a fully electric vehicle, he said: "Not EV, hybrid."
Terming hybrid technology as a practical bridge towards introducing EVs in the country, he added that the company completely agrees with the notion of bringing in environment-friendly vehicles to the country.
Nakanishi said that in order to make EVs popular in the country, it is important to provide some kind of motivation in terms of incentive to customers as well as the manufacturers of such vehicles. He added that HCIL is the process of formulating an "electrification strategy" in order to work out details in terms of models and other details.
HCIL currently sells Honda Accord hybrid in India through import of completely built unit (CBU) from Thailand. Sales of the model had suffered after price hike due to increased taxes after GST implementation last year. Under GST, hybrid vehicles have an overall tax incidence of 43 percent (28 percent peak GST rate plus 15 percent cess).