There is good news; Toyota might launch a hybrid version of the Etios sedan in India, but there is a catch – It will all depend on when the Indian Government decides to implement the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020.
The NEMMP 2020 aims to increase India’s energy security; reducing the national consumption of petrol/diesel and in the process reducing our dependence on oil imports is one way to do that. Through the Rs. 23,000 crore plan, the government is planning to introduce incentives for car makers who introduce all-electric or electric-hybrids in the market, by providing a subsidy of Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1.5 lakh per car. The NEMMP aims to increase the number of electric or hybrid cars on our roads to at least 17 per-cent by the year 2020.
Pure electric cars today are restricted by the limited range they offer and the long time it takes to charge their batteries. Hybrid cars on the other hand offer a good compromise, electric motors power the car for short periods and the combustion engine kicks in when the battery charge gets depleted or if there is a need for more power. Hybrid cars on an average deliver 50 to 100 per-cent more fuel efficiency than conventional cars, which is good for the environment and saves the user a lot of money in the long term.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor is studying the feasibility of launching a hybrid version of the Etios in India.Toyota has the technical know-how of producing hybrid cars, the Prius is one of the best selling hybrid cars in the world. The Prius is on sale in India too, but it is imported as a fully built unit which makes its very expensive (at almost Rs. 28 lakh). The Etios sedan will be a cheaper alternative to the Prius, but it could still be very expensive as compared to its oil-burning variants if it is not subsidised.
If the NEMMP is implemented, Toyota could start manufacturing the Prius, the Camry hybrid and the planned Etios hybrid in India.