The Toyota-Suzuki alliance is advancing towards electric and hybrid vehicles for India. This is in line with the country’s long-term plan to shift to sustainable green mobility.
With 4 electrified vehicles likely to be readied by 2020-21 and shared by both manufacturers, the first of them, an electric WagonR was this week shown at the 2018 Move Summit. The company has already manufactured 50 such vehicles on a protype line at Gurgaon and testing is on.
Apart from fully electric WagonR, the company will also launch a range of hybrid cars. The first two hybrid cars to be launched under the alliance is Baleno and Brezza. Both, Maruti as well as Toyota will be sharing these products and will be sharing at their respective dealerships.
With power outputs of 12 – 72 volts, the hybrid range would be offered with up to 45 percent improved fuel efficiency. ET reports the 12 volt system would be used for Baleno and Brezza alongwith a lithium ion battery pack. A 72 volt system is more likely to be seen in the shareable Corolla and WagonR. The latter’s battery capacity works out to 10-25 KWH.
The technology is already with Toyota in their global cars. They are the leaders in EV and hybrid tech today. Maruti will use this as an advantage and plans to leapfrog the EV race in India, which is currently lead by Mahindra and Tata. In return, Toyota will benefit from Maruti’s expertise in the local market and by selling their popular Brezza and Baleno models with Toyota badge.
As steadfast average fuel economy rules are implemented in 2023, both companies (Maruti and Tata) will adapt to better hybrid solutions of 48 – 72 volts for Vitara Brezza and Baleno for improved fuel efficiency.
As governance takes pro-active steps to support EVs and related infrastructure, and with battery prices geared towards cost efficacy, the environment is positive for related investment. There is also talks of rebates to be offered to buyers to encourage spending on electric cars.