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Maruti, Tata plan hybrid models

Last updated on: March 11, 2010 16:16 IST

Maruti, Tata plan hybrid models

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CarDekho.com

India's two big car manufacturers, Maruti and Tata, hinted that they plan to manufacture hybrids in the coming future.

With the ever rising fuel prices and increasing environmental consciousness the future belongs to hybrid vehicles.

Chairman of the Tata group, Ratan Tata has similar views and was quoted saying that the car industry's future lies in eco-friendly models. The carmaker is planning to launch the hybrid version of Nano but there is no news on the launch of a cheap hybrid version.

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Image: Tata Nano.

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Meanwhile, Maruti has also joined the list of potential hybrid manufacturers and Suzuki Motor Corporation the 54.2 per cent stakeholder in Maruti Suzuki is right now undertaking R& D work in fuel cell technology along with General Motors.

Car models like Maruti SX4 are being subjected to the use of hybrid technology, which includes the use of a mix of fuel cells and high-pressure hydrogen as fuel to run the vehicle.

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Image: Maruti SX4

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Tata and Maruti are not alone they already have Honda and Toyota for company.

Honda had launched Honda Civic Hybrid sometime back in the country however, the car failed to get many buyers because of its hefty price tag.

But with Toyota bringing its globally popular Prius to India Honda might just want to reconsider its decision and try a different tack to grab a piece of the hybrid market.

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Image: Toyota Prius.

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Is India hybrid ready?

The penetration of Hybrid cars in the US is about 3 per cent or slightly more and even if the car makers manage to get more than this level of penetration in India its effect on environment won't be as dramatic as is being portrayed.

However, the major area of concern includes issues like battery disposal that need strict laws that are clearly missing in the country.

These need to be addressed before introducing new sources of battery waste. Hybrid technology is indeed a step towards finding alternative fuel to power vehicles but there is still a lot that needs to be done to make it workable in India.

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Image: Hybrid model.

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