Maruti, Honda to offer hybrid cars in India

Maruti and Honda plan to offer hybrid cars for the Indian market in two to four years.

The companies plan to sell the new petrol-hybrid cars at diesel car prices, which, according to commentators, will see a significant degree of localisation in both the electric motor and batteries required to run them, Autocar India, reported.

The shift to hybrid comes on more stringent fuel efficiency standards, which go into effect in 2022. Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) would be 113 grams of CO2 per kilometer from 2022 which necessitates the hybrid shift. Currently the CAFE target is 138 grams of CO2/km.

Maruti's head of engineering, CV Raman said, ''What we are looking at doing is improving our internal combustion engines by hybridizing them,'' Echoing his sentiments, Yoichiro Yeno, the MD of Honda Cars India, said,'' reported. It would be essential to launch hybrid vehicles to meet norms. Some components may have to be imported in the beginning, but we want to maximise the locally made parts.''

According to commentators, Maruti is expected to benefit from synergies created by the Suzuki-Toyota partnership in India. Car parts maker, Denso, owned by Toyota, will build lithium-ion batteries in the country, in collaboration with Suzuki, which is expected to result in hybrids becoming a lot cheaper for Maruti.