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Electric vehicle journey to begin with hybrid technology in India: Honda

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(Photo: Bloomberg)

New Delhi: Japanese auto major Honda will use hybrid vehicles as intermediates in the next two years in India before going for full electric vehicles (EVs) as it expects setting up of supporting infrastructure such as charging stations to take time, according to a senior company official.

The company, which is present in India through a wholly-owned subsidiary, aims to follow the government’s push for environment-friendly vehicles by driving in models with green technologies.

A hybrid car has more than one source of power. Usually, it combines a conventional combustion engine with an electric motor to run the vehicle.

“In India, we will follow the EV direction set out by the central government. EV is surely the way forward for mobility technology and we expect that with government’s initiative, energy sources will shift to more renewable ones in next few years,” Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) Senior Vice President and Director Rajesh Goel told PTI.

This will drastically reduce the ‘well to wheel’ emissions in the future, he added.

“Till such time and also till the development of suitable charging infrastructure in the country, we feel that hybrid vehicles can be considered as good intermediate technology in electrification initiatives. Accordingly, we will begin our electrification journey in two years with hybrid technology,” Goel said.

The company sells just one hybrid model — Accord Hybrid in the domestic market. Currently, not many auto companies in India are keen to introduce hybrid models as under the GST regime, such vehicles have been put in the same category as big petrol and diesel luxury cars, attracting 28% rate with a cess of 15%.

Globally, Honda has been at the forefront of technology development for environment-friendly vehicles.

As per its Vision 2030, the company strives to electrify two-thirds of its global automobile unit sales in 2030 with its range of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEVs), battery electric vehicle (BEVs) and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).

When asked about company’s plans to shift to BS VI emission norms compliant engines, Goel said the company remains on course for technology and safety features upgrade.

“Smooth run-out of BSIV vehicles and switchover to BS6 vehicles will be a key task during this financial year. HCIL will progressively introduce BS6 compliant models from the fourth quarter of FY19-20,” he added.


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