With emission and fuel efficiency standards tightening, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, India’s largest car maker, expects to have only hybrid (mild and strong), flexible fuel, compressed natural gas (CNG), electric, and bio-fuel powered vehicles, according to a senior official.
As a result, pure petrol-powered cars may not figure in the company’s portfolio of cars in a decade. Already the company has stopped rolling out diesel-powered cars. Maruti Suzuki is also focusing on expanding its SUV portfolio and market share in that segment.
“Pure petrol-powered cars may not be available in the company’s product line up in 10 years as emission and fuel efficiency norms tighten,” Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director, Marketing & Sales, told IANS. He predicted that the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy or Efficiency (CAFA%) standards would be implemented in 2032.
Unlike the norms for tailpipe emissions, the CAFA% norms are for a carmaker’s entire portfolio. More the fuel efficiency of a car, the less the tailpipe emissions. Companies are looking at alternatives because current technology limits their ability to achieve higher fuel efficiency.
While electric vehicles are one option, they are not viable for the entire automotive segment in India in the short term due to issues such as charging infrastructure availability, vehicle price and payback period, and others.
The other option is to introduce vehicles that use a combination of fuels, such as ethanol and gasoline, hybrids, flexible fuel, compressed natural gas, and so on.
Regardless, Maruti Suzuki is preparing to unveil its first midsize petrol-electric hybrid SUV on July 20. The vehicle will be available in two versions: mild and strong. The car will be produced at the Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd’s plant in Karnataka’s Bidadi.