Maruti Suzuki will gradually bring strong hybrids across its range of vehicles in the next 5-7 years according to CV Raman, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), MSIL
While some manufacturers are working on introducing all-electric vehicles as part of the transition towards making the environment cleaner, others have taken a slightly different route. For instance, Japanese car producers like Maruti Suzuki, Toyota and Honda are priming to bring in hybridised models before the eventual switch towards battery electric vehicles.
Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), in particular, has been vocal about this particular technology and putting money where the mouth is, the company introduced the new 1.5-litre K15C four-cylinder mild-hybrid petrol engine with the facelifted Ertiga and XL6. The same powertrain has been utilised in the recently launched Brezza compact SUV.
It will also be on offer in the Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder and its sibling, the Maruti Suzuki YFG, which is due to debut in the third week of this month. MSIL is planning to launch its first all-electric passenger vehicle by the middle of this decade in collaboration with Toyota. The largest carmaker in the country is also betting big on CNG technology as its S-CNG lineup has seen rapid expansion in recent times.
The Indo-Japanese brand is targeting a big pie in a different segment now as mild hybrids, strong hybrids, bio-CNG and ethanol fuels take the spotlight in order to meet the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) norms. CV Raman, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Maruti Suzuki told in an interview that moving to strong hybrid tech will reduce 30 per cent CO2 compared to conventional ICEs and about 20 per cent reduction when CNGs are taken into account.
Over the next three to five years, MSIL will study the market and based on the customer requirements, it will move forwards with the technologies. He further noted that Maruti Suzuki “will gradually bring strong hybrids across our range of vehicles by the next 5-7 years”. The total tax incidence on hybrid vehicles is currently 43 per cent and BEVs attract only about 5 per cent tax, and Raman believes hybrid tech should be “given its due”
The brand is also developing different battery chemistries as it is on track to introduce E20-based vehicles, having a blend of 20 per cent ethanol and 80 per cent petrol, next year.