Diesel vehicles safe from NGT diesel-ban
Lately, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has been in the news for its decision to de-register diesel vehicles older than 10 years in Delhi. The decision was later toned down to scrappage of diesel vehicles older than 15-years. With the NGT likely to continue with its crackdown on diesel vehicles, such bans and rulings are expected to further spread to other states of the country, leaving your old car illegible for sale. Some carmakers however have recently started offering vehicles that not only are safe from NGT’s whip on diesel vehicles but offer a few other advantages as well.
Mahindra recently launched the ‘Intelli-Hybrid’ version of the Scorpio at a price of Rs 12.84 lakh, ex-showroom, Mumbai, for the S10 2WD variant. The ‘Intelli-Hybrid’ technology offers brake-energy regeneration and assistance under acceleration in addition to the start/ stop system, already available in the Scorpio range. Mahindra claims the technology to lower fuel-consumption by upto 7%. The system features a larger lead-acid battery than usual along with a starter motor, which works as an alternator as well as a motor for giving the engine a mild electrical boost under conditions such as acceleration.
Featuring a similar architecture is the Maruti Suzuki Smart Hybrid Vehicle System (SHVS), which was the first locally-developed mild-hybrid system with brake-energy regeneration. Introduced on the Ciaz, Maruti Suzuki made this technology a standard offering, showcasing its confidence in the technology for the listed reasons.
Benefits of Mild-Hybrids
Now that we’ve explained how these systems work, you might find it interesting to know that they’ve been classified as ‘Mild Hybrids’ by the government and various authorities. As a result, the recent ruling of NGT is not applicable on these vehicles, which means technically, they wouldn’t be sent for de-registration after 10 years. That however is based on the assumption that the policy towards such vehicles remains constant through the years.
Some people, especially those in Delhi might remember the even-odd scheme implemented twice in 2016 and the long list of exemptions for vehicles. One of the categories in the list was hybrid vehicles, which also includes mild hybrids. As a result, the Maruti Suzuki cars equipped with SHVS technology were exempt from the even-odd rule. If the rule were to be implemented again in the future, the Mahindra Scorpio ‘Intelli-hybrid’ would an addition to that list.
The most immediate benefit for the consumer is that under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP), hybrid vehicles are eligible for tax-exemption, almost offsetting the price hike due to the inclusion of the mild-hybrid technology. In addition, both companies manufacturing these vehicles claim a slightly higher fuel-efficiency, reducing the running cost for the consumer. The Scorpio ‘Intelli-hybrid’ for example is claimed to be 7 % more fuel-efficient than the regular Scorpio with the same engine.
So, it’s clear by now that although classified as ‘Mild-Hybrids’, the benefits of these vehicles are stronger than ‘mild’, even if due to the way our policies recognise them. Maruti Suzuki has already extended the SHVS technology to more vehicles beyond the Ciaz and Mahindra too is capable of doing the same. This only tells us that in the medium-term, there would be a rush among vehicle makers to get their vehicles classified as ‘Mild-Hybrids’.