Japanese car manufacturers Honda, Suzuki and Toyota it seems will be at the top of India’s transition to hybrid and electric vehicles. The three have begun development of hybrid cars in India and will likely introduce them within three years, according to a Livemint report. Under the 2019 Interim Budget, car manufacturers stand to avail similar financial incentives for electric and hybrid vehicles. The hybrid tech will first be made available in midsize sedans produced locally, the report added.
While the world automotive industry is shifting towards all-electric powertrains, Japanese car marques have been pushing with petrol-hybrids. The companies are urging the Indian government to extend financial incentives offered on electric vehicles to hybrids as these are far more efficient and less polluting than conventional petrol or diesel engine.
Toyota and Suzuki announced a business partnership of sorts in 2017 that would see them working together in the Indian subcontinent to build electric cars among other things. Under this partnership, the two have started work on a new common platform called GAC primarily developed by Toyota. The platform will be used by both manufacturers to build their respective hybrid vehicles in India.
Honda will also be introducing hybrid vehicles in India and its first full hybrid car will be the next-generation City. The new Honda City will be introduced in petrol and diesel engine options and will be followed by a hybrid variant in 2021.
“It makes sense for the company to introduce hybrid technology through its most popular product. Most of the Japanese players are working on making this strong hybrid technology affordable in India,” Livemint report quoted a source.
“We have plans to introduce hybrid vehicles in India within three years. It will take some time to make electric vehicles affordable and, until that moment, to contribute to a pollution-free society, I think hybrids will be the bridge to electric vehicles,” Gaku Nakanishi, president, and chief executive of Honda Cars India Ltd, said in an interview in October 2018.
The government will soon roll out the second phase of the FAME India scheme on a consortia-based approach, a senior official said Monday.”We are now soon going to launch the second phase of (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles), this is a consortia approach that we are putting along with the Department of Heavy Industries and Department of Science and Technology,” said Arbinda Mitra, scientific secretary, Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, at an Assocham event.