After tasting success with low cost automatic gearboxes in the form of the automated manual transmission equipped Celerio, Maruti Suzuki is mulling low cost hybrid technology for its range of hatchbacks, starting from the Alto, going all the way up to the Swift. Low cost hybrid technology has the potential to make Maruti Suzuki’s petrol hatchbacks cheaper than diesel powered cars, while also cutting down on fuel consumption and tail pipe emissions.
A real world fuel efficiency of about 25 Kmpl on petrol powered cars could be a distinct reality with low cost hybrid technology. These cars are likely to hit the Indian market over the next 3-4 years, in time to meet the ever tightening emission norms and fuel efficiency demands. Maruti Suzuki’s range of low cost hybrid cars are likely to be priced in between equivalent petrol and diesel engined cars. Expect the new crop of low cost hybrid cars to be priced similar to LPG and CNG variants.
Parallel or series hybrid route for Maruti Suzuki’s low cost hybrid cars?
In general terms, parallel hybrids refer to that configuration which uses the electric motor as a supplement to the internal combustion engine. On the other hand, a series hybrid uses the electric motor for propulsion, with the internal combustion engine acting as a generator to charge the batteries that power the electric motor.
Maruti Suzuki is likely to take the parallel hybrid route, with the electric motor assisting the internal combustion engine at low vehicle speeds, in order to reduce the load on the internal combustion engine and to cut fuel consumption. This combination is also likely to adopt brake energy regeneration in order to recharge the car’s batteries while deceleration.
Introducing low cost hybrid options for its affordable car range is a part of Maruti Suzuki’s larger strategy that involves making a wide range of fuel options available across its car range. Maruti Suzuki plans to introduce multiple fuel options – LPG, CNG, petrol and Diesel, on many upcoming car models.