The names i-M and i-M1 e are Honda’s most recent trademarks and could evolve into two new electric scooters for India
Indian electric 2W envelope is mostly dominated by startup brands. More and more mainstream bike makers are now entering this space. We have TVS and Hero MotoCorp have already arrived. However, Japanese bike makers have yet to make their presence known in this space. Will Honda break the ice with ‘i-M’ and ‘i-M1 e’ electric scooters?
Honda Files Trademarks For i-M and i-M1 e
There have been multiple speculations about Honda launching a new electric scooter in India. In fact, Honda has confirmed two different e-scooters for India, slated to launch in 2024. Even though Honda is highly likely to launch them under the ‘Activa’ umbrella, two new trademarks have been filed by the company – i-M and i-M1 e.
These could very well be Honda’s next electric scooters. In the automotive world, the letter ‘i’ is usually associated with intelligent or innovative vehicles. Honda’s newest trademarks could be the embodiment of the brand’s innovation as these will be the first set of e-scooters from Honda in India.
Both i-M and i-M1 e trademarks have been filed on 13/6/2023 and the status reads ‘Formalities check pass’. Honda probably intends to use i-M1 and i-M1 e trademarks on its upcoming electric vehicles, irrespective of the number of wheels, as seen in the description.
What to expect?
Honda 2W India might develop an all-new platform for these electric scooters, codenamed Platform E. This platform is said to be compatible with both fixed battery and swappable battery architectures. Hence, one of the two scooters will sport a fixed battery setup, while the other will get a swappable battery kit.
There is a probability of the fixed battery scooter taking the PV route, while the swappable battery model takes CV route for commercial applications. Either way, Honda will make sure there is enough performance and range on tap, which is on par with what rivals have to offer in their respective segments.
A high level of localisation will be a priority to keep costs in check. Given that it is from Honda, there is a level of reliability and safety associated with these upcoming products too. Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India is currently spawning a new manufacturing facility in Narasapura, Karnataka, to accommodate future 2W production demands.
Price point will be interesting as Honda is likely to position them mostly for first-time buyers. These might prove to be good alternatives for affordable ICE scooters. Launch could happen in January 2024, as confirmed by CEO. Considering how many trademarks Honda files in India and how many of them turn out into real product launches, i-M and i-M1 e names may just be intellectual property protecting mechanisms as well.
Source: Bike - rushlane.com