India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki today urged the government to encourage the adoption of hybrid vehicles with its MD and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa saying that the same will enable an even higher level of localization of EV components.
“Our cars are almost completely localized; the residual imports are mostly electrical parts and so further localization of our cars is very important,” Ayukawa said at a hybrids and EV localisation conference today.
The second phase of the FAME scheme that kicked off from April 1, 2019 with a budget outlay of Rs 10,000 crore focuses on heavy localisation of EV parts.
Ayukawa believes volumes are more critical than subsidy when it comes to boosting local manufacturing of electrical components and parts such as battery, motor, inverter and so on are common among electric vehicles, strong hybrids and plug-in hybrids.
“If we encourage hybrid vehicles then the volume of these core components goes up. And we will be able to achieve much higher depth of localization of these parts,” Ayukawa said.
Maruti is sharpening its focus on more fuel-efficient petrols armed with hybrid technology and CNG vehicles as it prepares for a future without diesel. The carmaker, which sells one in two cars in India, recently announced that it would phase out diesel vehicles from its range by April 2020.
The carmaker has rolled out the new 1.2-litre K12C DualJet with the Smart Hybrid system on the Baleno and aims to introduce it on more models in its line-up in the near term.
Mild hybrids come with the advantage of an enhanced fuel economy vis-à-vis a standard non-hybrid petrol, as well as a lower cost differential versus a BS-VI diesel.
Maruti is even looking at stronger hybrids and is said to be working closely with suppliers for its electrification strategy that will involve localisation of a high percentage of its components.