Government of India has recently launched FAME India scheme – Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India – as a part of National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. FAME India initiative offers incentives upto INR 29,000 for bikes and INR 1.38 lakhs for cars. With hybrid cars being the future, Maruti Suzuki is set to launch in a car or two so as to promote eco friendly vehicles.
Maruti could be launching a hybrid version of either the Swift or DZire which will come in later this year giving buyers in the country their first experience where an entry level plug-in hybrid car is concerned. Maruti Suzuki Swift Range Extender is a plug-in hybrid in the making that has been showcased by the company on various occasions over the past two years.
Hybrid Maruti Swift receives a 658cc petrol engine and an electric motor along with a 5kWh lithium-ion battery pack. These in conjunction are capable of generating 73PS power and delivering a mileage of 48.2 kmpl. The battery is fully chargeable via a 200V electric socket in 90 minutes. When running on full electric charge, it has a range of 25.5 kms.
As a part of the government’s pilot project, the company also showcased Swift REEV at 2014 Delhi Auto Expo, at 2015 Vibrant Gujarat and at 2015 IEFT. Imported parts from Japan went into the making of this car, which could make prices higher. But, FAME scheme announced by the government will allow buyers to avail of certain discounts.
Mahindra is likely to add Maxximo and Verito Electric variants to the list of launches in 2015.
As on date, there is just Toyota Camry and Prius that are offered in the hybrid category priced above INR 30 lakhs while the BMW i8 is priced at INR 2.3 crores.
Maruti Suzuki is not the only one embarking on this alternate energy vehicle project, as Tata Motors is also planning on introducing electric variants of Ace and Magic LCVs while Mahindra and Mahindra is also working on an electric Verito which could be launched sometime this year.