Honda City Hybrid e:HEV is be the first mass-manufactured full Hybrid car to be made in India
Honda City Hybrid e:HEV has been launched in India today. It is the first proper locally manufactured hybrid car in India. We have had a lot of hybrid vehicles in the past from other manufacturers, even Maruti Suzuki. But, they were never full-blown Hybrid vehicles.
These cars only came with mild-hybrid technology. It included a starter/generator, which provided a tiny boost for the vehicle’s acceleration and also featured a stop-start feature. That’s it. Honda Cars India has gone a step further and equipped their City with a proper hybrid system.
Honda City Hybrid Price
Price of Honda City Hybrid in India is Rs 19.5 lakh, ex-sh. It only comes in the top ZX variant. In comparison, the top of the line petrol auto City ZX costs Rs 15.07 lakh, ex-sh. Hybrid City is about Rs 4.4 lakh more expensive than petrol City in ex-sh price.
Mr. Takuya Tsumura, President & CEO, Honda Cars India Ltd. said, “Today, we embark on our electrification journey in India with the launch of New City e:HEV, reaffirming our commitment to bringing the best and most meaningful technologies to the country. The tremendous response received on the unveil of the model last month reflects the acceptance of the Strong Hybrid technology in the mainstream segment. The New City e:HEV offers many firsts in the segment, in line with the legacy of Honda City – setting benchmarks for the industry with each introduction.”
Honda City Hybrid Tech
Honda’s e:HEV system isn’t a PHEV. As in, you can’t charge the battery by plugging it into an outlet. The battery is only charged with the regenerative system. i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) is the name of City Hybrid system. This is very similar to one found on Toyota Camry. It comes with a 0.7 kWh battery pack and 2 motors. One of these motors acts as a starter and a generator for regenerative energy recuperation. Whereas, the other motor derives power from the battery and drives the vehicle for a very short range. Honda has not revealed how many kms the City Hybrid can drive on electric mode alone.
A 1.5L naturally aspirated petrol engine is also found on this car. This engine develops 98 bhp of power and 127 Nm of torque. Honda’s i-MMD system switches power from either of these sources based on the driving scenario. This system is capable of short distances on electric power alone if the car is driven sedately. When the driver needs more performance, it seamlessly switches to the petrol engine. In south-east Asian markets, Honda claims a fuel efficiency of around 28 kmpl. But, Honda claims a fuel efficiency of 26.5 kmpl for India. This dip in fuel efficiency might be due to the change in suspension and tyres for the Indian spec City Hybrid.
Features and design
Honda City Hybrid e:HEV comes only with the ZX top variant. The features will be pretty much carried over from the non-hybrid counterparts. But, there are additional features. ADAS features like Lane watch, lane assist, emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control are offered with the hybrid City. These features are present in City Hybrid variants in some South-East Asian markets.
In terms of design, City Hybrid will get the same design as non-hybrid variants. But, there will be subtle changes for hybrid variants to establish a visual difference. These changes include a faux diffuser at the back, a subtle lip spoiler on the boot gate, a honeycomb pattern design on the grille and new housings for fog lamps. Most importantly, an e:HEV badging on the boot gate. Some other changes on the City Hybrid include a shark-fin antenna, new 16” alloy wheels, LED headlights with integrated DRLs. However, the RS spec City Hybrid found in south-east Asian markets, has not made it to India.