Now, every car can become a hybrid car: Here’s why

India as a developing nation is still struggling to bring the pollution from the automobiles under control. Few formulas including the infamous Delhi Government’s “Odd/Even rule” were implemented but the pollution level did not budge. The Indian government, in a big step to promote hybrid kits in India, has approved retrofitting hybrid kits in the existing cars.

Toyota Camry Hybrid

The new policy covers both commercial and private, petrol and diesel vehicles that have a gross weight of less than 3,500 kg. The vehicle should also comply with Bharat Stage II pollution norms. Through this rule, cars can now get kits just like the CNG/LPG kits to become electric hybrids or completely electric vehicles. Let’s find out more about this rule and the hybrid technology.

Why are hybrids better?

Hybrid
Hybrid cars use the most advanced technology available in the market. The hybrid technology increases the fuel efficiency quite considerably and as we know India is a country obsessed with fuel economy, the hybrids make a lot of sense. The hybrid technology also provides extra power when you need it that translates into quicker overtakes on the road.

Hybrid systems also take off the load of the engine, that means lesser the engine works, the less you have to maintain it. Also, supporting the point on pollution, hybrid systems make the car way less polluting than the conventional ones. Not to miss, driving a hybrid car will make you look cool and will save you a lot of money.

Who can do conversions?

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The ministry will start certifying the manufacturers of such kits who will in turn issue a list of authorised installers who can convert a conventional car into a hybrid. The Indian ministry has approached automotive component and technology companies like Bosch and Cummins to provide the technology in India at a large scale. The primary focus will be on old BS-II and BS-III cars that are more polluting than the newer vehicles.

How do these conversion kits work?

Hybrid System chart
These kits would not turn your car into full-fledged hybrid cars like the Prius. Few kits that are available in India like one from KPIT Cummins, uses an electric motor connected to the engine crankshaft via a belt. The motor is connected to the electric motor and a pack of batteries that can be charged either overnight or while the car is in motion. The electric motor draws power from the batteries to assist the petrol or diesel engine, reducing the load and increasing the efficiency.

Cost

Such conversion kits will cost less than Rs. 1 lakh and if the demand rises, the cost can come down even further. The hybrid kits make vehicles around 30 – 40% more fuel efficient that will mean fewer stops at the fuel bunk.
Given the fact that diesel vehicles are preferred because of their fuel efficiency and they cost almost Rs. 1 lakh more than the same trim petrol variant, this rule may bring an end to the diesel vehicle fraternity. The hybrid vehicles are as fuel efficient as the diesel vehicles and run smoother too. This rule, however, cover both petrol and diesel vehicles as long as they fit in the above-mentioned guidelines.

What else?

Scrapeyard
Under the new policy, the government will give certificates to people who scrap their old vehicles to the certified scrapyards chosen by the government. This certificate can be used for discounts when buying a new car.
New star rating stickers will be issued on the basis of fuel efficiency of the new vehicles on sale and soon it will become mandatory for all the manufacturers to display tamper proof stickers on their models.

In a bid to take control of transport pollution, diesel cars that have more than 2,000 cc engines were banned for sale in many parts of India including Delhi-NCR region. Many manufacturers are already planning to bring in their hybrid products to India to overcome this ban. The new rule may just prove to be the rise of petrol and hybrid cars in India in coming few years eliminating the more polluting diesel cars.