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Old 27th November 2019, 08:14   #1
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Default Will smart hybrids become the norm?

Mild hybrids come with automatic start stop system with power/torque assist and regenerative breaking. They are marginally better in fuel economy and emissions. A decade back the General Motors introduced BAS hybrid system that delivered 27% more FE.

At the removal of fame subsidy, some would have thought it would be an uphill road for Smart hybrids but the fact is MSIL has only increased its fleet. Baleno, Ciaz, Ertiga, XL6 and S-cross, all have SHVS. Honda’s compact mild hybrid is being brought in to Jazz and possibly also in the upcoming City facelift.

Countries like Thailand have regulations for minimum fuel economy of 23 kmpl. When regulations become stringent, technologies like mild hybrid may provide a cost effective solution to meet the norms. Although in the longer run EVs will eventually dominate, but in the shorter term, do you think mild-hybrids would become a norm?
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:21   #2
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Default re: Will smart hybrids become the norm?

This has become a spectacular mess in India. Forget getting a push or incentive, we have no concrete policy or thought process on the future automotive landscape in India. One week, EVs are deemed the future; another week, some minister says something else that isn't pro-EVs. The policy on FAME/EVs itself isn't robust and keeps moving goalposts. In the meanwhile, manufacturers like Mahindra and MSIL make (made?) merry with a joke for a hybrid.

Agree that our country lacks infrastructure at several levels to popularize EVs but hybrids are getting lost in the middle of nowhere, world over. I think India missed the boat on proper hybrids being mainstream in India. There are no mass manufacturers who have actual hybrids in India; the ones on sale are not at an affordable price point. Let's see what Kia/MG have up their sleeve.
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:56   #3
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Default re: Will smart hybrids become the norm?

I hope it doesn't. Its more of a business gimmick & the real gains are not that significant. The start stop thing is the most irritating item in a car IMO. Especially since it shuts off the much needed air conditioning when waiting for 120 seconds at a signal for 5 times in a commute of 2 hours. This heats up the car & gives more work for the compressor afterwards - eating up extra fuel to run afterwards anyway.

I'd rather some manufacturer shows the guts to invest in manufacturing a proper hybrid in India rather than CKD/CBU imports. Hybrids are actually eco friendly, easy to maintain & very convenient for regular use.

Keep costs in check & it will sell. People want it. Car makers don't want it. Car makers are using the easy escape of blaming everything on government policies. Its laughable that one of the biggest lobbies that has always had things their way are not finding a way to make hybrids. They simply don't want to invest it. Simple as that.
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:58   #4
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Default re: Will smart hybrids become the norm?

Unless there is statistical evidence that a Smart Hybrid is the way forward, my money is still on Toyota's Hybrid technology. It is proven to work. All Toyota need to do is start manufacturing their Hybrid system in India, instead of shipping it all the way from Japan or wherever, which attracts a 150 percent mark up, on the on road price. Manufacturing locally can help Toyota and Maruti Suzuki. Its a win. Toyota's Hybrid system is now available on pretty much every model, aside from their full blown SUV's, which are mostly diesel.
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:18   #5
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Default re: Will smart hybrids become the norm?

That smart hybrids are a joke is something we all can agree on. I believe the proliferation of this so called 'technology' in the Maruti stable is all about marketing and the mandatory CAFE norms.

The need of the hour is some clarity and stability by the government on its policies. In light of ever increasing pollution in our cities and the proven benefits of proper hybrid tech, they should waive off the extra duties on imports for a couple of years, and in meanwhile provide tax breaks for manufacture of hybrid systems in India. All mainstream manufacturers have proven hybrids in their kitties and only need the right incentive to bring them here. This is the right way to go forward for the next 10 years by when full electrics should start making waves.

Last edited by Shreyans_Jain : 27th November 2019 at 10:21.
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:45   #6
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Default re: Will smart hybrids become the norm?

I wish to see full-blown hybrid technology (HEV & PHEV, not the mild / micro ones) come on mainstream along with or even before the BEVs. Sadly we don't have much options in India in such category. Let's face it, a common-man who is in the market to buy a car with an interest of lesser carbon footprint, yet have a reliable one at that without range anxiety does not have a choice of one south of 20 lakhs. What I fail to understand is what does it take for manufacturers to firstly go easy on mass market like India (where EV adoption is still very nascent) with a HEV / PHEV to give a feel what it is to go on a unconventional technology and then make a smooth transition to EV. Will they be beyond affordability or are the investment costs that high? Let's face it, the infrastructure for EV adoption for India is nowhere as fast as the number of products being pumped into the market. Not that I am preaching against EVs, but it would be better to see many HEV / PHEV product teasers as much as EVs, so that it makes sense for us to adopt into a hybrid while the EV infrastructure becomes more solid and robust in a span of few years. Just my 2 cents.

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Old 27th November 2019, 11:08   #7
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Default re: Will smart hybrids become the norm?

I also thought so. But now I think full electrics are the way to go. Why the reduction in the weight / space used up by the dual power trains.

Even our policy is finally demanding charging stations in all future gas bunks.
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Old 27th November 2019, 17:59   #8
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Default re: Will smart hybrids become the norm?

When planning to buy an electric car, I was worried about the following concerns:
  1. Range anxiety
  2. Charging infrastructure in cities and outside
  3. Long road trips
  4. Battery cost
  5. Pollution caused by thermal power plants (are we really being eco-friendly?)

Based on these thoughts, I felt that PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) would be a good interim solution until we have the charging infrastructure built in our country. I guess it will turn out to be costlier, but in order to build the electric charging infrastructure, we will need more electric cars and in order to sell more electric cars, the charging infrastructure should be easily available. This is a chicken-egg situation and I don't see any improvement in the charging infrastructure in the next 5-10 years unless we have a drastic change in government policies. PHEV will help in building the base requirement for charging infrastructure and clearing a path for fully electric vehicles for a later date.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 27th November 2019 at 18:05. Reason: Corrected typos, punctuation and grammar. Please proof-read your posts before submitting.
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Old 27th November 2019, 21:34   #9
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Default re: Will smart hybrids become the norm?

Is there a benefit in real life for start-stop systems? First gen Ertiga gave 14-15 kmpl in the city. Does the new gen give anything more? From the little I know, start-stop systems cause a lot of stress on the starter motor and AC compressor.
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Old 27th November 2019, 21:48   #10
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Default re: Will smart hybrids become the norm?

EVs all the way, soon! Charging infrastructure on highways will come up in no time - this is going to be the next investment opportunity (almost become an asset class)! My hunch is that by the 2030 goal will be surpassed 2-3 yrs before!!

Last edited by Equus : 27th November 2019 at 21:49.
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Old 27th November 2019, 22:22   #11
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Default re: Will smart hybrids become the norm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
my money is still on Toyota's Hybrid technology. It is proven to work. All Toyota need to do is start manufacturing their Hybrid system in India, instead of shipping it all the way from Japan.

I have owned a Gen 2 Toyota Prius between 2006-08, It is the vehicle on which I started to hone my automobile DIY skills and do upgrades and modifications.


The major cost component of that vehicle was the Hybrid battery which costs 7000$ which is approximately 35% of vehicle cost(20-25k car price range). The Lithium ion Hybrid battery could only be manufactured in Canada at that time due to raw material availability.USA/Japan have a very favorable import policy for sourcing components.



So manufacturing a Toyota hybrid in India at low cost is not as easy as it sounds given the raw material availability and Import taxes.
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Old 28th November 2019, 05:33   #12
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Default re: Will smart hybrids become the norm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeingHuman View Post
The major cost component of that vehicle was the Hybrid battery which costs 7000$ which is approximately 35% of vehicle cost.
Maybe as a spare part cost. It cannot cost 35% of the vehicle cost at a manufacturing level. That would be too high.

There is a lot of life that can be expected from that battery too. I would say, on average and playing it safe, it should last a minimum 100,000km before it needs a change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeingHuman View Post
So manufacturing a Toyota hybrid in India at low cost is not as easy as it sounds given the raw material availability and Import taxes.
Agreed on raw material availability.

When I say low cost, I do not mean that it should end up being priced like an Alto. Local manufacturing is to help lower the current price point of car and the technology that powers it, to maybe half or a little lower. It will still be expensive for what it is though.
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Old 28th November 2019, 05:50   #13
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Default re: Will smart hybrids become the norm?

Mild-Hybrids are welcome, but the government should NOT encourage them by giving tax breaks compared to an ICE car. Reducing oil consumption by 1-2% is still significant. A proper hybrid which can do reasonable speeds (min. 25 kmph) for a reasonable distance (min. 15 km) on EV only mode can result in significant FE savings.

I think the government is responsible for us not having good hybrids. There is a strong lobby and I assume most politicos trust ARAIs misleading FE numbers. 'Proper' hybrids are expensive, but manufacturers can re-engineer the cars if there's a good enough incentive to do so.

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 28th November 2019 at 05:53.
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Old 28th November 2019, 06:25   #14
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Default re: Will smart hybrids become the norm?

I too was in favour of full blown hybrids but I think we have missed that train sometime back. It's better to concentrate on EVs as they are the way forward. When there is a technological shift, the Govt has to take the initiative and lead the way. They can start showing their intent by making certain busy highways "EV Friendly". Why not pick the Golden Quadrilateral for instance and have charging stations at strategic locations which will perhaps encourage people to adopt EVs little faster.
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Old 28th November 2019, 08:24   #15
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Default Re: Will smart hybrids become the norm?

It's only a matter of time for EVs to take over now. The range anxiety issues will reduce with new battery tech, better charging infrastructure and most importantly, EVs will be ridiculously easy to maintain. As public transport improves and becomes faster and more accessible, EVs will be majorly a local runabout car for personal use, making them more mainstream.

Early adopters will lead the way, as they did for smartphones!

All of this should take from now to approx. 15-20 years, so a business case does exist for hybrids during that timeframe.

But - we have the uncertain government policies and taxation to thank, and hence the confusion. Hybrids are deincentivised for now and business cases do not exist.

There's quite a 'all or nothing approach' in this government - Article 370, GST, Demonetization, State politics, Manufacturing policies, Pollution control by blanket bans etc come to mind. A lot of these decisions are data driven, and I feel the ministers are being fed data from extremists or delusionals. But we cannot deny - there are reform undercurrents everywhere.

So back to the main question - full hybrids? only in luxury cars for the immediate future.
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