Toyota Eyes Hybrid Car Market In India; RAV4 Hybrid SUV Coming?

Toyota RAV4 Modellista rear three quarter

Toyota has already invested Rs. 2,000 crore on green mobility and technology for the local as well as export operations

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) is preparing to launch a host of strong hybrid vehicles in the domestic market over the next few years, according to a report emerged on the internet. The Japanese auto major is also studying the feasibility of CNG, hydrogen-powered vehicles, alternative fuels like ethanol and other known means to reduced the emission levels.

The brand has already pumped in a hefty sum of Rs. 2,000 crore on green mobility and technology for the Indian as well as export operations and fresh investments will be processed ahead of the upcoming launches. In a conversation with ET, Vikram Kirloskar, vice Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), said, “We feel very strongly with 70% coal-based power, strong hybrids give the least amount of well to wheel carbon emissions. We will continue pushing hybrids.”

With an objective towards reducing carbon footprint, he noted that as more renewable energy starts coming in, the penetration of electric vehicles will be more. He further announced his brand’s intention to step into the mass market at some point in time with hybridisation technology, provided it makes a strong business case.

Toyota Rav4 Plug in Hybrid
Toyota Rav4 Plug in Hybrid

In India, the central government has placed 28 per cent GST tax slab to the small hybrid vehicles and 43 per cent to the larger vehicles. The only hybrid sedan Toyota currently sells in India is the Camry Hybrid and it received a mid-life update earlier this year. In addition, Toyota is expected to launch a midsize SUV developed in collaboration with Maruti Suzuki around Diwali this CY.

It will be underpinned by the brand’s DNGA platform as the 4.3 m long SUV will compete against the likes of Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos. By the middle of this decade, the partnership with Maruti Suzuki will also spawn a global midsize SUV based on the 27PL skateboard architecture. Although not confirmed, Toyota could also bring in its RAV4 Hybrid to India considering the popularity of its premium vehicles locally.

The popular Toyota RAV4 has been on sale internationally for long and the speculations surrounding its market entry have also existed for quite a long while. The RAV4 Prime PHEV uses a 2.5-litre engine and electric motors producing a combined power output of 302 hp, delivered to all four wheels through the E-Four AWD system. It has a dedicated EV-only range of 75 km.