Skyrocketing fuel prices have opened a new horizon of opportunities for hybrid cars and among many others; Indian automaker Mahindra and Mahindra has plans to make hay out of here. Recently, the company revealed its future of making entry in this blue ocean with hybrid roll-outs of its popular Scorpio and XUV500 SUV models. The hybrid versions of these two could first be seen at Indian Auto Expo 2014.
Presently, the company has set no deadline to roll-out these hybrid vehicles but it may take Mahindra until 2015-16 to bring such cars to showrooms in Indian market.
There will be some unique features in Mahindra XUV500 Hybrid And Scorpio Hybrid. For example- it will use manual transmission in contrast with ongoing automatic transmission trend in hybrid vehicles. This will help in bringing down the costs to a good extent. For hybrid ignition system is based on lithium ion batteries sourced from Samsung and the manual transmission from ZF.
This is not the first attempt by Mahindra to explore opportunities in this segment. The company presently runs a micro-hybrid system across most vehicles in its portfolio. The micro hybrid automatically cuts tail pipe emissions at traffic lights and stop-go traffic conditions to help conserve fuel. Apart from this, Mahindra also runs Reva, world’s largest electric car company by production capacity.
Using hybrid system, cars will consume about 20 % less fuel but the parity is that it leads to engine price escalation. Many manufacturers have earlier pointed out that for hybrid to grow in India, government subsidies will play a vital role. Mahindra has also pitched in the same tone. The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 has proposed for these subsidies and a concrete decision on this may come by April next year. If a favorable outcome is seen, we may soon see more players joining the league.