Maruti eyes hybrid cars business

As a result, pure petrol powered cars may not figure in the company’s portfolio of cars in a decade. Already the company has stopped rolling out diesel powered cars.
Representative image
Representative image

CHENNAI: With emission and fuel efficiency norms getting tighter, India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd expects to have only hybrid (mild and strong), flexible fuel, compressed natural gas (CNG), electric, bio-fuel powered vehicles, said a senior official.

As a result, pure petrol powered cars may not figure in the company’s portfolio of cars in a decade. Already the company has stopped rolling out diesel powered cars.

Maruti Suzuki is also focusing on growing its sport utility vehicle portfolio and the market share in that segment.

“Pure petrol powered cars may not be there in the company’s product line up, say in 10 years time as the emission and fuel efficiency norms are getting tighter,” said Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director, Marketing & Sales. He said the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy or Efficiency (CAFA per cent) norms may come into place in 2032.

Unlike the norms for the tailpipe emissions, the CAFA% norms are for a carmaker’s entire portfolio. More the fuel efficiency of a car, the less the tailpipe emissions. As there is a limit on achieving higher fuel efficiency with the current technology, companies are looking at alternatives.

While electric vehicles are one option, it is not viable for the entire automotive segment in India in the short term owing to issues like availability of charging infrastructure, vehicle price and its payback period and others.

The other option is rolling out vehicles powered by mixed fuel -- ethanol plus petrol, hybrid, flexible fuel, CNG and the like.

Be that as it may, Maruti Suzuki is gearing up for unveiling its first midsize petrol-electric hybrid SUV on July 20. The vehicle will be rolled out in two variants-mild and strong.

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