Maruti Suzuki partners with Toyota to develop self-charging hybrid vehicles for India


Team Udayavani, Aug 29, 2021, 10:31 AM IST

 

Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest carmaker has partnered with Japanese auto major Toyota to develop hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) that can be charged on the run, independent of power supply from roadside infrastructure.

Notably Maruti’s market rivals like Tata Motors, Mahindra and Hyundai have already launched products in the electric vehicle segment in the Indian market, the Delhi-based company has been sceptical about launching one anytime soon citing the problems surrounding EV adoption in India, especially in the passenger car market.

A recent report however indicates that the company is developing HEVs, that will be powered by an internal combustion engine that works alongside an electric motor. This implies that the battery will be charged via the engine and won’t be dependent on any power supply from roadside infrastructure.

Confirming the development, Rahul Bharti, Executive Director, Corporate Planning and Government Affairs, Maruti Suzuki said, “There is a joint testing program of some electric vehicles; these prototypes will be tested starting next month along with Toyota. We are planning to get more consumer feedback on usage patterns, etc. Till the time charging infrastructure grows in India you will need self-charging machines, so towards that, we will be using hybrid electric vehicles.”

As the EV charging infrastructure in India is rather limited at the moment, self-charging cars would offer a more practical option for users for the next 10-15 years.

“It’s a strong technology for the next 10-15 years and it has a lot of merit, it can scale up without the dependence on external charging infrastructure, and offers a good reduction in emissions,” Bharti added.

Maruti has already launched the Swace hybrid in Europe. The HEV was developed in partnership with Toyota since it is based on the Toyota Corolla estate and features a 3.6 kW battery and a 1.8 litre petrol engine. The self-charging Swace delivers a mileage of 27 km per litre.

Meanwhile, the carmaker it is reported will launch its first all-electric vehicle in the year 2025. Apart from Maruti Suzuki, companies like Volkswagen, Renault, Nissan, Honda and Kia too do not have any immediate plans of venturing into EVs segment.

 

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