Honda Benly e is to be targeted at B2B segment where pickup and deliveries are primary objectives
Honda had revealed their roadmap a couple of months ago hinting to the Indian automotive community that it would focus on flex-fuel-powered motorcycles before outright chasing EVs. So, when we were hit by a new spy shot of a Benly e electric scooter with a green number plate with white font, it was head-scratching, to say the least. The green number plate means that the vehicle in question is sold as a finished product and is not a test mule. Because test mules always get red plates irrespective of the powertrain. Last year, we had seen Honda’s Benly e electric scooter under testing with a red number plate.
The white font in that green number plate fuels further confusion too. Because Honda Benly e electric scooter is basically an electric goods carrier targeted at B2B segments. This means it is pitted as a commercial vehicle. But commercial EVs should get a yellow font on the green number plate and not white, signifying that it is a passenger EV. Did you scratch your head too? Fret not, we might know what’s going on.
Honda Benly e – What is it?
Benly e electric scooter by Honda debuted at 46th Tokyo Motor Show back in 2019. This electric scooter is targeted toward pickup and delivery companies and logistic companies. Keeping this in mind, they have a twin battery architecture, where each battery is sized at 0.99kWh capacity.
Both these batteries are swappable too allowing them to swap out drained batteries with fully charged ones in a minute. This negates the waiting period for EVs and in pickup and delivery business, time is as precious as gold and getting their fully drained EV up and running with 100% battery in a minute, is priceless.
Benly e is offered in 4 trims globally namely, Benly e I, Benly e I Pro, Benly e II and Benly e II Pro. Both I series trims get a 3.8 bhp and 13Nm motor capable of 87 km on a single charge with 30 kmph top speed. They can also traverse a 12-degree incline with 30 kg load. The II series trims get a stronger 5.7 bhp and 15 Nm motor capable of 43 km of range from a single charge with at 60 kmph top speed. They can traverse the same incline with 60 kg of load and also get reverse functionality too.
Honda Benly e Electric Scooter With Green No Plate
Now coming to the question you must be waiting for. Why is it here and how is it a passenger EV? Honda Benly e is powered by Honda’s MPP batteries. Honda has initiated a new vertical named Honda Power Pack Energy India. This vertical’s task is to locally manufacture swappable batteries to power two and three-wheeled vehicles in India. Honda has conducted an elaborate pilot study in 2021 at Thane, Maharashtra. This study clocked 2,00,000 km and 7,000 battery swaps.
Starting from Bengaluru, Honda has partnered up with HPCL and Bengaluru Metro to establish swapping stations. When started, these swapping stations will be equipped to provide battery pack swaps for electric two and three-wheeled vehicles. The first swapping station was expected to start operating in May of 2022.
Data reveals that the scooter in question is registered to Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India and hence the white font in the green number plate. The Jayanagar RTO KA 05 number plate checks out too as HPPEI is based in Bengaluru. It is likely that HPPEI is conducting a trial run of some sort with their new battery swapping technology. Since the batteries or the mechanism might be under testing and not the actual scooter, might be a reason why it doesn’t have a red number plate.