By Shruti Shreya:
While we zoom about the city in our petrol or diesel cars, puffing out little bursts of black smoke, our “carbon footprint” can no longer be measured in footprints anymore. Looking back in our rear-view mirrors, we may never actually see the big carbon trails that we are leaving behind for us and our future generations to come.
Few automobile companies have however seen our planet’s grim and grimy future in their un-tinted windshields and have embarked on a green journey with hybrid cars that make use of two or more distinct power sources and run on alternate fuels to move the vehicle.
Currently, Mahindra & Mahindra’s Reva is the first and only electric car on the Indian road to greenery. You might have seen the cute little two-seater car hopping about on the suburban roads or being charged at a mall in the city and wondered if it was worth investing so much in a car that seats only two people. But with the Auto Expo held in January this year, the company changed perspectives when they launched a four-seater version, due to be launched commercially by Diwali this year which will make a green and smart consumer’s wallet lighter by only 4-5 lakhs rupees.
Tata Kirloskar Motors [TKM] also did not stay behind much by introducing the all famous Prius in India within the price range of 27-2 lakhs for the Indian terrain. TKM strongly believes that “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 director commercial, TKM.
While the President of Mahindra & Mahindra, Pawan Goenka, has been exerting his faith in the future of hybrid cars “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”, Maruti Suzuki is also busy experimenting with a hybrid version of their famous model Swift that will run on electric motor and alternatively on petrol.
However due to high manufacturing costs and low demand, the future of hybrid cars in India may appear bumpy at the moment, but there emerges a light at the end of the tunnel with the Union budget passing a Rs. 6,000 crore incentive package to boost the manufacturing of electric and hybrid cars in India. “The fund will be used for providing infrastructure support and also setting up research and development centres for electric and hybrid vehicles“, reported an official from the ministry of heavy industry.
With the government now shifting gears on the budget for hybrid cars, several companies have proposed a host of hybrid versions of their favorite models. Tata Motors is set to launch a hybrid Nano while Chevrolet is proposing to re-launch its Spark as Spark Electra. Apart from its Reva, Mahindra & Mahindra is also set to launch its famous Scorpio in an electric model while Hyundai’s flagship i10 is being revamped as an all-electric zero-emission i10 EV. Not that far behind are also two-wheeler manufacturing companies like Honda MotoCorp with its concept hybrid scooter “Lead”, leading the way to a greener tomorrow.