Maruti Suzuki has been relentlessly testing hybrids in India. A test mule of its hybrid-powered vehicle was spotted as early as 2016. However, this time around Bosch was seen testing a Baleno variant with e-drive stickers near Bangalore. The vehicle was spotted by TeamBhp and also had SHEV stickers that denote Strong Hybrid Electric Vehicle. India already has seen a 48V hybrid in the form of the MG Hector petrol. What it essentially does is store brake regeneration energy and help propel the vehicle on electric power alone. Unfortunately, the Hector is tuned in a different fashion and it gives a 20Nm boost in torque. Bosch though, it seems, has tuned the Baleno to run on pure electric power too.
The Baleno SHEV is expected to offer different drive modes including the aforementioned full electric version, combined electric-petrol mode and pure petrol mode. The latter will come into effect at higher speeds while the electric-petrol mode will be useful for quick overtakes. In the city, one can drive in pure EV mode provided the battery has enough juice. All these will contribute to lower emissions as well as a higher fuel efficiency number.
More often than not, manufacturers are resorting to mild hybrid powertrains to counter the BS-VI effect. The BS-VI move is likely to affect small diesel engines as these will tend to be more expensive as well as complex to update. The price hike will not be justified and there will be few takers as well. Moving on to mild hybrids, in the long run, could also get the government's nod for incentives.
It is unclear at the moment if Bosch is merely testing its components or if MSIL actually will launch this vehicle in India. Either ways, it is good to see manufacturers come up with technology bits and mass market components for consumption.
Image credit: TeamBhp.com