Why Toyota is betting bigger on hybrid cars than EVs in India
Toyota Motor is betting big on hybrid cars, even bigger than electric vehicles, for India. The Japanese auto giant explained why hybrid vehicles make more sense in the country than EVs at the moment. It also revealed its hybrid strategy going forward. Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman of Toyota Motor, said the carmaker's hybrid strategy is in tune with its overall plan to reduce carbon footprint according to the Centre's objective to bring down pollution.
"I think the country's objective is to reduce carbon (emission). You have to look at it holistically and (on a) scientific basis and that's what we are doing," Kirloskar was quoted by news agency PTI, during the unveiling of the Innova HyCross MPV, its latest hybrid car for India. According to Kirloskar, EVs may not meet the emission standards as power in India is still mainly sourced from coal. Lack of renewable energy sources in India does not necessarily make EVs the mascot to reduce carbon emission. "The only place where as per that (study) the electric car has lower carbon emission than a pure ICE (internal combustion engine) is in the North East where it's hydropower. Nowhere else does it reduce carbon," he added.
Toyota currently offers hybrid cars like Urban Cruiser HyRyder SUV and Camry sedan in India. Last week, Toyota Motor unveiled its latest hybrid vehicle Innova HyCross, the hybrid version of its popular MPV Innova Crysta. As of now, the carmaker does not plan to introduce electric cars in the country. "If it reduces the carbon content, if the renewable electricity in India starts getting at least more than 50-60 per cent and certainly it will be all electric...we may bring earlier also," said Kirloskar.
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Staying focussed on sustainability, Toyota will continue to bet on hybrid vehicles in coming days. The Innova Hycross is the latest example which will offer self charging strong hybrid electric option mated to a 2-litre petrol engine and an e-drive transmission unit.
The Innova HyCross has joined the ranks of Urban Cruiser HyRyder SUV, launched a few weeks ago. It is the first compact SUV in India to get strong hybrid power, along with its technical cousin Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara. Toyota also offers Camry hybrid and is currently testing its first flex-fuel based Corolla Altis sedan for launch. Toyota also offers cars with alternative fuel such as Glanza CNG.