With the future of diesel cars looking grim, Maruti Suzuki plans to come up with CNG and hybrid versions of its popular models to cater to those looking for low running costs
It is widely known that the parent company of Maruti has tied up with Toyota Motor Co. to develop electric and hybrid powertrain technology for affordable cars. However, a major challenge with quick adaptation of electric vehicles is that their battery packs make them too expensive for the common car buying lot.
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd is already testing its electric powertrain on a JDM-spec Suzuki WagonR. The powertrain being tested will power a slew of models from the country’s most popular carmaker.
However, before the common car buying lot becomes ready to put its money on the EVs, the carmaker has decided to offer CNG and hybrid variants to those seeking low running costs.
It may be noted here that the diesel engine option for the company’s lineup will be discontinued owing to the great investments required to achieve BSVI compliance making it totally unfeasible for the company to upgrade its oil-burners. Hence, the company will be banking upon the hybrid and CNG powertrains until electric powerhouses get affordable for the common car buyers.
Speaking on this, Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director, Maruti Suzuki has said, “The company is working on Electric Vehicle (EV) development. In addition, till the time EVs gain prominence overcoming the lack of infrastructure and high costs, a more workable solution is to promote other powertrain options of clean energy like CNG and hybrid EVs. We are thankful to the Government of India and appreciate their efforts in increasing the CNG distribution network in the country.”
From this, it’s quite clear that the company will keep its focus on offering CNG and hybrid variants of it popular models until the market is fully ready to adapt to electric cars. Recently, the carmaker even introduced CNG-powered variants of the second-gen MPV.
The new introduction should help the carmaker attract buyers looking for ultra-low running costs. In the future, we can safely expect the carmaker to come up with more CNG and hybrid versions of its popular models.