Maruti Suzuki is considering the Swift RS Hybrid hatchback for the Indian car market. The Swift RS Hybrid is already on sale internationally and Maruti Suzuki could launch the car in India as a stop-gap measure before full-electrification. Currently, manufacturers are divided between full-hybrid and full-electric approaches for the future.
Most car makers around the world are opting for a mix of hybrid and electric cars as it’s presently impossible to predict whether the world will shift towards full electric cars or stick to hybrids. In such a scenario, Maruti may also opt to wait and watch by first launching the Swift RS Hybrid in India before considering all-electric options.
CV Raman, the executive director (engineering) at Maruti Suzuki said this,
We are quite sure that going forward, the electrification of cars in India will reach some percentage of the overall market. We are with the government as far as this is concerned. We also believe hybridization is also important. So we will see as technology progresses we will see these technologies in India. Swift globally has a strong hybrid which is available in Europe we had showcased earlier the Swift range extender which is a different concept than a strong hybrid. In the range extender the motor is only driving and the engine is only charging the battery so it runs the motor. The prime mover is the motor. Whereas in the hybrid it is both – motor and engine. So conceptually both are different. The range extender can be plugged in and also charged. So that was only experimental. Let’s see how it goes.
The Swift RS Hybrid, which is on sale in Japan, Sri Lanka and many other international markets, uses the 1.2 liter K-Series petrol engine but with slightly higher displacement and outputs, and a mild-hybrid system. The mild-hybrid on the Swift RS is similar to the one found on the Ertiga and Ciaz Diesels.
Called the SHVS (Suzuki Hybrid Vehicle System), the hybrid unit involves an electric motor assisting the petrol engine during acceleration, thus lowering fuel consumption and tail pipe emissions by a small extent. This is different from the full-hybrid technology, where the car can drive exclusively on electric power for short distances, or while crawling in city traffic, etc.