Toyota To Bring Affordable Hybrid To India Before An EV
Published On Mar 29, 2022 08:00 AM By Sonny
The brand already offers many of its global offerings with strong hybrid powertrains
The most famous hybrid car in the world is a Toyota, i.e., the Prius. So it makes sense that Toyota finds hybrids as a better first step in cutting carbon emissions than just switching to EVs entirely. In a recent report, the Japanese brand’s Indian outfit, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), revealed that it plans to push strong hybrids in India too once it is ready with newer, mass-market models.
In an interview with ET, Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman TKM, stated, “We feel very strongly with 70% coal-based power, strong hybrids give the least amount of well to wheel carbon emissions. We will continue pushing hybrids. As this 70% starts coming down and more renewable energy starts coming in, we will start seeing more and more EVs. Our objective is overall carbon reduction.”
There are many strong hybrids in Toyota’s global lineup aside from the Prius but most of them are large vehicles, bigger than the Indian sub-compact category. As a result, they’re quite pricey and further get levied with heavy GST rates of 43 percent on larger cars. However, Toyota is hoping to offer a better representation of hybrids with upcoming new-gen models in order to discuss tax restructuring with the government to encourage adoption of strong hybrids.
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A strong hybrid powertrain is one that uses a small battery pack in tandem with a combustion engine. During normal running, the engine is working efficiently to power the motors and charge the battery at the same time. At low speeds, the motor is driven entirely by the battery.
The Camry is Toyota’s only hybrid offering in India at the moment and carries a price tag of Rs 41.7 lakh (ex-showroom), despite some degree of localised assembly. Then we have Lexus, Toyota’s luxury arm, which only offers hybrid models in India. Hence, the brand has already been positioning itself as a hybrid specialist here, albeit in the luxury segments.
In its global lineup, Toyota offers strong hybrid powertrains with smaller, non-luxury models too, like the Yaris Cross (a compact SUV), C-HR (compact SUV) and RAV4 (mid-size SUV). Meanwhile, it has only recently entered the world of BEVs with one premium SUV. It seems more than likely that Toyota will be able to bring a mass-market hybrid to India before an all-electric offering.
The carmaker has not made any hints as to when such a hybrid may be introduced or what it will be, but we expect it would be a new model. Toyota’s mass market hybrid for India will likely be part of its collaborative effort with Suzuki and it could share the latter’s new electrified powertrain. We believe the new model will be a compact SUV, rivaling the likes of the Hyundai Creta.
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