With concern over vehicular emissions rising, auto majors are fast shifting their focus towards greener electric and hybrid vehicles, besides providing customers the option of owning a car run by cheaper and low-emission fuels such as CNG and LPG. Signs of things to come are clearly visible at the 10th Auto Expo where almost every carmaker has showcased the future green offerings.
Be it the mass-market players — Maruti, Hyundai, Tata Motors — or the foreign auto major — General Motors, Toyota Honda — all are betting big on green cars, not only for India but also for the overseas market. At the expo, Toyota has launched the latest version of world’s largest selling hybrid car, Prius, in the Indian market, besides introducing Altis CNG and Innova CNG, besides showcasing Camry hybrid.
“The Prius today is the world’s most successful hybrid with cumulative sales of nearly 15-lakh units.
“We will continue to popularise environment-friendly vehicles in India to further our efforts to help save the environment,” Toyota Kirloskar Motor Deputy Managing Director Sandeep Singh told The Hindu.
Similarly, its Japanese counterpart Honda Motor has showcased its concept sporty hybrid car, ‘CR-Z’, besides announcing plans to focus more on hybrid and alternative fuel technologies.
Another auto major that has made a strong statement through the expo is the U.S.-based General Motors that has unveiled the electric version of compact car Chevrolet Spark, developed in technical collaboration with Bangalore-based Reva Electric Car Company that is providing battery technology to GM for introducing a range of electric cars for Indian and overseas markets.
GM has showcased the much-awaited Hybrid Volt electric vehicle with extended-range capability, Aveo CNG and Spark LPG.
“The government should seriously think about providing incentives to owners of cars driven on alternative fuel and cut high taxes and duties to encourage adoption of such eco-friendly vehicles. The government needs to incentivise both producers and consumers of eco-friendly cars,” said General Motors India President and Managing Director Karl Slym.
Another major attraction of the auto show has been the launch of Hyundai’s i10 electric, which is likely to be introduced in India next year, besides tapping the huge potential for greener vehicles in overseas markets, particularly in developing countries.
Similarly, India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki has showcased hybrid concept of SX4 sedan and electric version of the newly-launched van Eeco.
Tata Motors is also planning electric version of Nano, targeted at overseas markets.
Apart from carmakers, manufacturers of bikes and buses have also their keenness in using greener technologies in their vehicles.