Fresh from its divorce with Japanese auto giant Honda, world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp will showcase a concept model of a hybrid scooter, a world-first, at the New Delhi Auto Expo that kicks off on Thursday.
Founder and chairman Hero Motocrop Brij Mohan Lall Munjal (R) and joint managing director Hero Motocrop Sunil Kant Munjal pose with newly launched 110cc passion Xpro and 125 cc bike Ignitor day before Auto Expo begins in New Delhi. AFP Photo/Sajjad Hussain
Hero, that was dependent on Honda for technology for 27 years, is developing the scooter in collaboration with an overseas partner. The scooter could be run on petrol as well as electricity sourced from a battery that is expected to double the fuel economy.
“Hero has applied for three technology patents and nine design patents for this and it would be a serious product,” said a source close to the company. “Though it is being developed jointly with another partner, it will be the first non Honda powered two-wheeler from Hero.”
Though such technology is used in numerous cars such as Toyota Prius and Honda Civic, it is unheard of in the two-wheeler market. Though others are also eyeing the hybrid space, Hero may get a first-mover advantage.
The Munjal-led Hero Group broke up with Honda in December 2010, which had been providing technology for all its two-wheelers till then. Honda is the marketleader for scooters in India.
The Munjals use Honda’s technology on existing products including the three that were showcased on Wednesday — Igniter, Maestro and Passion X Pro. It is free to use Honda’s technology till 2014. Two wheeled wonders