Maruti Suzuki MD Kenichi Ayukawa has reaffirmed the company’s plan to launch its first hybrid electric vehicle (HEV). In related news, the company had showcased the 32 km/l-Suzuki Swift Hybrid at Auto Expo 2020 earlier this month.
In 2018, Ayukawa had confirmed that a full-hybrid electric vehicle/strong hybrid electric vehicle is planned for India. Now, a new report from The Economic Times reveals more about this plan. Speaking to the business publication some time ago, Ayukawa said: “We are planning to bring in parallel hybrids (to India), we have the hybrid system, point is localisation.”
Being the market leader, Maruti Suzuki has the responsibility of popularising electrification in India. So far, it has done that with its mild-hybrid electric vehicles (MHEVs). In the next phase, it intends to push electrification more aggressively with strong hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and pure electric vehicles (EVs). This will be in line with its new plan 'Mission Green Million’ of selling one million green cars over the next few years.
An undisclosed senior industry executive aware of the Maruti Suzuki’s plans has said that “what took a decade for the company to deliver, it wants to now do it in three years, sell one million cleaner vehicles and ‘affordability’ is at the core of it.” Expect the premium, 4 metre+ models to be offered with its strong hybrid powertrain.
The first-gen Ciaz was Maruti Suzuki’s first mild-hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV). It won’t surprise us if the next-gen Ciaz turns out to be the company’s first parallel hybrid electric vehicle (HEV). The company may offer its first parallel hybrid powertrain in its next-gen XUV500 rivaling three-row SUV as well.
TDSG, India's first Lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant that is being set up jointly by Suzuki, Toshiba and Denso in Gujarat, will be ready this year. Lithium-ion batteries manufactured here will allow Maruti Suzuki to price its HEVs and EVs economically. This plant will be operated by a joint venture company called Automotive Electronics Power, with the equity stake split between Suzuki, Toshiba and Denso in a ratio of 50:40:10 respectively.