Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor has also hinted that the company aims to have a complete hybrid portfolio in the country by 2025
Toyota Kirloskar Motor has revealed in an interview with a different publication that the Japanese carmaker will be working on introducing hybrid cars in the country starting from 2022. As of now, the carmaker offers two petrol-hybrid cars in India, namely Vellfire MPV and the Camry.
Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said, “You’ll see the hybrid cars come way down the line, closer to 2022. By 2025, I don’t know how much of our portfolio might be non-hybrid and going towards smaller vehicles.”
When asked if Toyota’s future plans include fully electric vehicles, Mr Kirloskar said that “The Toyota hybrid architecture is common with the full hybrid or the plug-in hybrid, which has a bigger battery or a hydrogen vehicle where the engine is replaced by fuel cell or a pure EV.” He also claimed that the company feels that India still has 60-70% coal fired power-plants and that he believes that hybrids are far cleaner than EVs.
In September 2017, Suzuki Motor Corporation laid the foundation stone of its first dedicated lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Hansalpur, Gujarat. The plant has been set up jointly between Suzuki Motor, Toshiba and Denso to make electric and hybrid cars in India for global use. As a part of the joint venture between Toyota and Suzuki, the former is also expected to invest in the battery plant.
In contrast, Toyota feels that hydrogen is the future of vehicles, since the cost of producing hydrogen is reducing, and a lot of hydrogen is available in the world. However, there are still a few complications related to compressing hydrogen, as well as the cost of the fuel cell and other expensive materials used in the fuel cell. Nonetheless, Toyota confirmed that it believes that hydrogen fuelled cars are the future, and the company is trying to find new substitute materials for fuel cells.
Toyota will be sharing hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) technologies with Maruti Suzuki, in which the HEV systems, engines and batteries will be locally procured through the aforementioned plant. Toyota will supply its Hybrid Systems to Suzuki, which the latter will use across its lineup globally.