"The smart hybrid vehicle technology will be used across models."

Shobha Mathur By Shobha Mathur calendar 01 Sep 2015 Views icon4932 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

C V Raman, executive director -- engineering, Maruti Suzuki India, speaks to Shobha Mathur about the company's plan to offer hybrid technology to a large customer base.

Will strong hybrid be the next technology to be introduced by Maruti Suzuki?

Strong hybrid is a progression, this is the first step and hybridisation requires a lot of education of customers and need to make the technology affordable. At this point the battery costs are still very high, as are the motor and integration costs. So we want to promote this technology in a big way in the market. For doing that, Ciaz smart hybrid is the first step.

In which Maruti models will this technology be more suitable?

It will be suitable for any kind of vehicle. It will be more affordable in the segments where we are present. Each will give a better fuel efficiency. We will look at all other models in the future as also  the petrol variants.

What is the localisation content in the Ciaz smart hybrid diesel?

The localisation content has not changed. It was 98 percent in the earlier Ciaz. In the smart hybrid diesel the battery is local and the motor is also locally made so there is not so much of a change. The battery is an advanced high capacity lead acid battery made in collaboration with Furukawa and produced by Exide. It is a patented technology.

Is the Ciaz smart hybrid a product of Suzuki Japan?

It was a joint development between Suzuki Japan and Maruti Suzuki and we have been working on it for the last 3 years. A team of 40 people have worked on it. The local team has contributed its inputs in  calibration, a lot of field testing for Indian traffic conditions and understanding it, as well as mapping it.

What is the status of the pilot project for the Swift Range Extender that was a hybrid vehicle?

As part of the pilot project of the Swift Range Extender we made 4 vehicles and as part of the government’s FAME programme we have conducted technology demonstrations and have showcased it in various forums.

When will it be commercially viable?

The fuel efficiency has to be at the top and costs have to be in the affordable range. We are giving affordable, good quality hybrid technology to consumers so that they see benefit in it. As part of that smart hybrid technology we have to see how to reduce overall cost of the battery and motor going forward. And when we feel it has reached that level then we will introduce.

Will changes have to be incorporated in each model for accommodating the SHVS technology?

The smart hybrid vehicle technology will be used across models. Each vehicle will require separate changes and special development in terms of battery, motor, engine tuning and calibration separately for each vehicle and we will also have to ensure that we can fit the motor in the vehicle. 

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