Hybrid cars are less polluting than EVs, says Maruti Suzuki chairman. Here's why

RC Bhargava, Chairman at Maruti Suzuki, welcomed UP government's decision to waive off registration tax on hybrid vehicles as a recognition of such ca
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Maruti Invicto Grand Vitara hybrid
Uttar Pradesh government's decision to waive off registration fees on hybrid cars in the state has resulted in prices of hybrid cars like Maruti Invicto and Grand Vitara to reduce by up to ₹3 lakh.
Maruti Invicto Grand Vitara hybrid
Uttar Pradesh government's decision to waive off registration fees on hybrid cars in the state has resulted in prices of hybrid cars like Maruti Invicto and Grand Vitara to reduce by up to ₹3 lakh.

Electric vehicles are globally known as the cleanest mode of transport due to no use of fossil fuel. But in context of the Indian auto industry, the chairman of Maruti Suzuki thinks it is the hybrid vehicles which is less polluting than electric cars. Maruti Suzuki, India's largest manufacturer of passenger cars, has two strong hybrid vehicles on offer in Invicto MPV and Grand Vitara SUV. It is yet to enter the electric vehicle segment.

In a recent interview to Business Standard, RC Bhargava, Chairman at Maruti Suzuki, welcomed the decision of the Uttar Pradesh government to waive off registration tax on hybrid cars. He said it makes more sense to reduce tax on hybrid vehicles in India to ensure the Centre's aim to reduce carbon emission is effectively achieved.

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Speaking on why hybrid vehicles make more sense than electric cars in effort to reduce pollution, Bhargava said, “The fact is that at present, hybrids emit lesser carbon despite using fuel than pure play electric cars. That is because EVs have to be charged and 76 per cent of the country’s electricity is still coal-based and not renewables. This is in contrast to Europe where the electricity generated is far cleaner with 30 per cent coming from coal-based power. In India, the share of renewables in the last decade has gone up by 4-5 percentage points only."

Bhargava's argument holds true for the pure hybrid vehicles which come with internal charging technology. Such vehicles use regenerative braking to transfer energy to the battery installed in the vehicle which, in return, can help the vehicle run on electric power for some distance. Besides Maruti's Invicto and Grand Vitara, other carmakers who offer strong hybrid technology in India include Camry, Innova HyCross and Urban Cruiser HyRyder from Toyota Motor and City hybrid from Honda.

Also Read : Check new price of Maruti Invicto, Toyota HyCross and Honda City after hybrid car tax sops in UP.

'UP tax sop on hybrid cars proves it is key to reduce pollution'

The decision by the UP government has resulted in significant drop in prices of hybrid vehicles in the state. Models like Maruti Invicto and Toyota HyCross MPVs have seen prices go down by up to 3 lakh while SUVs like Grand Vitara and HyCross will cost up to 2 lakh. Bhargava said UP government's decision reflects its recognition of hybrid cars as one of the less polluting vehicles people can buy. He said, "The UP government action is the first instance where a state government has realised and acted on the fact that multiple technologies are required for reduction in carbon emissions and oil imports."

RC Bhargava had earlier echoed similar sentiments last year when he said hybrid cars are cleaner than electric vehicles. He had reminded that India's dependence on coal to generate electricity makes hybrid cars less polluting than EVs in Indian context at least till the end of this decade.

First Published Date: 10 Jul 2024, 14:23 PM IST
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