For a long time Toyota Motor Corporation has been focusing on electrified vehicles. It stepped into a partnership with Suzuki and Denso in 2017 and decided to come up with a battery plant in Gujarat. Now hybrid and electric vehicle technology are still on the upper side of the cost structure which is why even hybrid vehicles haven't gain as much popularity in India. That said, moving forward carmakers are expected to include more electrified vehicles in their range in a bid to reduce emissions and meet the upcoming CAFE (corporate average fuel efficiency) regulations which caps the overall fuel consumption of the entire product portfolio. Electrified cars can become more affordable if critical components are manufactured locally, hence Toyota is looking forward to it.
Speaking to Siddharth Vinayak Patankar, Editor-In-Chief, carandbike on the latest Freewheeling with SVP webisode, Naveen Soni, Senior Vice President, Sales & Service- Toyota Kirlosakar Motor said, "There are three main things in an electrified (Hybrid) or electric vehicle- battery, electric and controller. We are also telling the government if we can localise these things then what will happen is irrespective of what you want to make out - electric, mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or fuel cell vehicle, future will be of electrified vehicles." Speaking about the population of hybrid vehicles in the future, Soni explained that roughly in around two years we should see more and more hybrids hitting the Indian roads. Each manufacturer is defining its own ways of meeting the fuel efficiency norms which are stricter on fuel consumption. There hybrid of course gives you a leapfrog advantage over traditional IC engines. It's running with the support of electric power along with fuel so it gives you advantage in terms of emission and fuel efficiency and it definitely is a big plus.
Complying with the BS6 emission norms have been one of the biggest challenges automakers have faced in recent times and the entire industry has incurred heavy investments for the same, especially to convert diesel powertrain to BS6 vehicles. It requires diesel particulate filter (DPF) and sulphate catalyst reduction system to control the emission, the cost of which can soar up to 25 per cent depending on the size of engines. Soni explained that automakers have temporarily compromised on margins and are selling BS6 range at controlled prices now. However, prices are expected to rise further. For future emission controls hybrid vehicles can facilitate achieving emission targets with better cost efficiency.