Maruti focus on hybrids
Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) is betting big on hybrids and CNG, hoping that these alternative versions will replace its diesel portfolio that has been discontinued under the BS-VI regime.
“We feel that hybrid is the way forward towards electrification. Strong hybrids will replace our diesel programme. We believe that CNG and hybrid vehicles are the most effective tool to reduce CO2. MSIL will introduce cutting-edge hybrid vehicles with support from Suzuki Motor Corporation,” Kenichi Ayukawa, MD and CEO of MSIL, had said on the sidelines of the recently held auto expo in Greater Noida.
The company on Friday launched the CNG version of the Wagon R, priced in the range of Rs 5.25 lakh to Rs 5.32 lakh.
“We cannot be sure that customers will shift to hybrid from diesel, we can only hope and present to them strong hybrid cars that will reduce pollution and be a step towards electrification,” said the MD.
MSIL will be sourcing lithium ion batteries for its hybrids and electric vehicles from its plant in Hansalpur, Gujarat, that will be commissioned in 2020. Suzuki, in a joint venture with Denso and Toshiba, will be manufacturing the batteries at the plant.
Maruti is also in collaboration with Toyota for hybrid technology. “We will be banking on the transfer of that technology for our hybrid portfolio,” said the MD.