Honda Cars India will bet on hybrid cars instead of shifting directly from petrol and diesel engined cars to electric vehicles. This is because electric vehicle charging infrastructure is yet to be set-up in a big way in India. Until this happens, electric vehicles will continue to remain in a niche segment. The upcoming, 3rd generation 2020 Jazz premium hatchback will be the first Honda car to get a hybrid powertrain in India.
The 2020 Honda Jazz is likely to get a petrol mild hybrid powertrain in the Indian market, and is likely to be followed by the 5th generation City C-Segment sedan next year, which will also use a similar powertrain. The 2020 Jazz will be officially revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show later this year. It’s likely to be launched in India early next year, at the 2020 Auto Expo. The 2020 Honda City sedan will be launched by the end of next year.
Honda’s Jazz Hybrid will borrow the intelligent multi mode drive (iMMD) hybrid car technology from the flagship Accord Hybrid sedan but the unit used on the hatchback will be much smaller. The Accord is priced at Rs. 43 lakhs, and is the priciest car in Honda’s line up. It’s imported as a completely built unit (CBU). The Jazz Mild Hybrid is expected be much cheaper though, with a starting price of under Rs. 6.5 lakhs. The Jazz will be built in India with a heavy amount of localization to keep costs low. Apart from the petrol mild hybrid powertrain, the car is also expected to be offered with a 1.5 liter turbocharged diesel engine, which will bbe BS6 compliant, and will be shared with other Honda cars.
Meanwhile, Takahiro Hachigo, President and Representative Director, Honda Motor Company, told MoneyControl,
We have set a goal to electrify two-thirds of our global automobile unit sales by 2030. In light of the required infrastructure and how people use automobiles, we believe hybrid technology is, at present, the most effective way for us to comply with CAFÉ (corporate average fuel economy) standards. Therefore, we will electrify our products mainly with hybrids. To this end Honda will expand the use of its iMMD (intelligent multi-mode drive) to our entire line up. In addition to the use of this technology in mid and large sized vehicles, we developed a new more compact iMMD for smaller sizes. This technology will be adapted by the all-new Fit, which will be the exhibited at the Tokyo Motor Show.