Honda Cars to launch more hybrids in India before transitioning to full EVs

Honda is all set to expand its hybrid line up in India with more electrified products. The company will gauge the expansion of infrastructure before introducing EVs.

By: | Published: May 27, 2019 11:31 AM
The Honda CR-V Hybrid might be launched in India in the next two years.

Honda Cars India Ltd. is reportedly expected to introduce more hybrid models in the Indian market in the next two years. The manufacturer is said to go full electric later as it expects the development of charging infrastructure in India to take time as claimed by PTI.

HCIL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Honda Motor Company. The manufacturer is aiming to follow the government’s push to reduce our carbon footprint with more environment-friendly vehicles.

Hybrid cars are capable of offering the best of both worlds in terms of fuel economy and fewer emissions than a traditional vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine (ICE). In a hybrid, the vehicle is powered by a conventional combustion engine with an electric motor to run the vehicle. However, the added weight from the motor and the batteries, and having two engines in a vehicle is not the long term solution for cleaner mobility. Therefore a fully electric vehicle (EV) or a fuel cell vehicle (FCV), while requiring a whole new supportive infrastructure, are more viable in the long run.

Rajesh Goel, Senior Vice President and Director, HCIL told PTI that in India, the company will follow the EV direction set out by the central government. Electric vehicles are surely the way forward and the company expects that with the government’s initiative, we can move to energy sources that are more renewable in the next few years.

He concluded to say that till the development of suitable charging infrastructure in the country is achieved, the company feels that hybrid vehicles can be considered as good intermediate technology in electrification initiatives. He added, “Accordingly, we will begin our electrification journey in two years with hybrid technology.”

The Honda e Prototype was showcased at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show is a near-production vision of an all-electric urban hatchback with retro styling with a WLTP cycle range of 200kms.

 

In India, Honda only sells the premium executive sedan – Accord as a hybrid. In addition to the Accord, HCIL’s product offering includes the Amaze, Jazz, City, WR-V, BR-V, CR-V, and the latest entry to the line-up, the Honda Civic. Globally, Honda has been at the forefront of technology development for environment-friendly vehicles. In Honda’s global line up, the CR-V is also offered as a hybrid, while the Jazz also called the Honda Fit in some markets is available as an EV. The previous generations of the Civic were also equipped with hybrid powertrains. Honda also has the Clarity which is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle sold in regions that support the infrastructure, while the technology is complicated to create, the only emission from FCVs are water vapour. At the top of the range is the hybrid Honda NSX, the successor to the original NSX that was developed by the Formula One champion; Ayrton Senna.

As per the manufacturer’s “Vision 2030”, Honda plans to electrify two-thirds of its global automobile unit sales in 2030 with its range of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEVs), battery electric vehicle (BEVs) and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).

All manufacturers are expected to transition to BS6 emission standards by April 2020. Manufacturers will have to introduce new or upgraded engines that will meet the new norms, in addition, to tailor their vehicles and comply with safety norms that will also be enforced next year. Goel told PTI that a smooth run-out of BS4 vehicles and switching over to BS6 vehicles will be a key task during this financial year. Honda will launch BS6 compliant engines from the fourth quarter of the financial year between January-March 2019.

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