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Auto Expo 2012: Hybrid and electric cars in vogue

Anuradha Shukla     January 10, 2012
Green is in vogue at the current Auto Expo with automakers, including Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor, Nissan, Mahindra and Mahindra and Hero MotoCorp lining up electric and hybrid vehicles for future launch. However, automakers feel that the road ahead for such cars is bumpy with no policy incentives and infrastructure support.

At present, Mahindra & Mahindra's all-electric Reva is the first and only electric car on the Indian roads. As the two-seater vehicle attracted only few curious and green-conscious buyers, the company has unveiled a new four-seated version slated for commercial launch before Diwali 2012. According to sources, the company is working on keeping the price in the range of Rs 4-5 lakh, as it is looking at larger commercial success.

Toyota's hybrid new Prius
Toyota's hybrid new Prius
"We have been saying time and again that electric and hybrid cars are the future. But price is one factor that needs to be worked on. With more infrastructure support and incentives we are sure that more companies will come up with such technologies," Pawan Goenka, president (automotive and farm equipment sectors), Mahindra and Mahindra, said. Another firm Toyota Kirloskar Motors launched the new Prius at the Auto Expo priced at Rs 27,38,500 to Rs 29,40,500 (exshowroom Delhi).

Visitors at the 11th Auto Expo
A bird's eye view of hordes of visitors at the 11th Auto Expo, 2012 in New Delhi
"Hybrid is the technology for tomorrow. We aim to raise awareness of hybrids. With a solar powered ventilation system we hope to see more Prius customers," said Shekar Viswanathan, deputy managing directorcommercial, TKM.

Even companies like Maruti Suzuki that has stuck to the traditional fossil fuel-driven engines are looking at commercially manufacturing a hybrid Swift. According to reports, the carmaker has already started road-testing the Swift 'range extender', which runs on an electric motor, and alternatively on petrol.

Two-wheeler companies are not far behind. Hero MotoCorp, the leading two-wheeler maker in the Indian auto market, uncovered its first ever concept hybrid scooter, Lead, at the Auto Expo.

Courtesy: Mail Today 

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