Author – Aseem Shrivastava
Rising air and noise pollution in cities have kindled enough interest in electric and hybrid vehicles. Delhi Auto Expo 2016, which was held in February, had an interesting array of vehicles in this section. Indian car manufacturers, including Mahindra and Tata Motors, appeared enthusiastic in rolling out electric and crossover vehicles at the Auto Expo. Electric cars are ubiquitous in developed countries, but their sight is rare on Indian roads. They are quieter and are powered using rechargeable batteries and electric motors preventing greenhouse emissions.
The Indian government is encouraging local manufacturers in this field, as these vehicles reduce our dependence on imported oil & gas, saving foreign exchange reserves, besides achieving carbon emission goals. Electricity is not drastically susceptible to frequent price rises and supply issues. The government has also provided sops to bring down prices of such vehicles to encourage their use by a large section of citizens. However, certain disadvantages have kept the buyer away from electric vehicles such as their cost, time taken for recharging, and lack of a wide recharge network. Yet hordes of visitors had a peek at these green vehicles, which was a testimony to the fact that people are interested in buying them.
Green Vehicles at Delhi Auto Expo
Some of the electric vehicles and hybrid cars showcased at the Delhi Auto Expo 2016 are listed here:
Mahindra Supro Electric
Mahindra, as part of its electric mission, launched the fully electric version of its people carrier van- Mahindra Supro electric, which is powered by a 73.2V AC induction motor that makes 30 kW at 3,000 rpm and produces peak torque of 90 Nm till 3,000 rpm. The van has disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear, automatic transmission with power steering. Measuring 3,798 mm in length, 1,540 mm in width, and 1,922 mm in height, the vehicle has a wheelbase of 1,950 mm, riding on 165/70-R13 tubeless tyres. The electric version of Supro will be available only in an eight-seater configuration and is expected to cost in the range of ₹4-4.5 lakhs.
Mahindra e-20 Sport
Right from its looks, there is no mistaking that this is no regular Mahindra e2o. It features a wide body kit, rear spoiler, wider and lower profile wheels with sticky rubber, as well as massive ventilated disc brakes, both front and rear, with fiery orange racing livery. Inside of the car gets two racing bucket seats with six-point harnesses and a Momo racing steering wheel. But this car isn’t just about looks. This all-electric sports car packs a 107bhp powertrain; an electric motor with square steel shell lithium-ion batteries that makes 143PS (105KW) and 180Nm, as claimed by Mahindra, helps the car complete the 0-100kph dash in eight seconds. Its maximum range is 200km on its fully charged 384V battery. It measures 3,453 mm X 1,564mm X 1,508mm, wheelbase 2,064 mm while the tyre size is 205/ 40ZR17. It can also be wirelessly charged thanks to technology from GE. Pricing is yet to be decided.
In the sedan segment, Mahindra unveiled the electric version of Verito, christened e-Verito, which grabbed the visitors’ attention. Powered by a 72 V3-phase induction motor that provides a maximum of 30.5kW (41hp) at 3,500 rpm and a maximum torque of 91 Nm at 3,000 rpm, it has a maximum speed at 86kmph, automatic transmission, disk brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. Measuring 4,277mm in length, 1,740mm in width, 1,540 mm in height, and a wheelbase of 2,630mm, the sedan sits on 185/70 R14 tubeless tyres. e-Verito sports roof rails, 10-spoke alloy wheels, chrome grille, and weighs 1,700 kg. The company hasn’t provided much details about the sedan, but is expected to cost around ₹6 lakhs.
TATA Magic Iris Ziva
Tata Motors showcased the hydrogen cell-powered version of its popular Tata Magic van, the Tata Iris Magic Ziva. The small passenger carrier is powered by Tata’s indigenous air-cooled hydrogen cell stack, in which hydrogen and air undergo an electrochemical reaction to produce water and electric energy to power motors connected to wheels. It gives a continuous power output of 3.5kW, a normal power output of 5kW and a maximum power output of 9kW at 2,100rpm. The system is able to produce 42Nm of flat torque till 2,100 rpm. It is designed to seat four passengers and a driver. At the front is a regular McPherson strut system, while at the rear is a coil spring setup with a semi-trailing arm. All wheels get 180-mm drum brakes and are of the 145-R12 inch specification. The Iris Magic Ziva measures 2,960mm in length 1,512mm in width, and 1,900 mm in height. The vehicle has a wheelbase of 1,650mm. It is a gearless and clutchless passenger van, which costs around ₹5.10 lakhs.
The fourth-generation 2016 Toyota Prius, rolled out at the Delhi Auto Expo, is the first model to be based on the new Toyota new global architecture, which makes the chassis 60% more rigid as compared to previous models. It gets a new front suspension and a rear double-wishbone suspension. Powered by 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder VVT-I petrol engine, which produces 97bhp and 142 Nm of torque, an electric motor supplements the engine providing an extra 73bhp which produces a top speed of 180kmph. It comes with a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) hybrid battery that sits beneath the rear seats. Dimensions of the car are 4,540mm X 1,760mm X 1,470mm. The wheelbase is 2,700 mm. It will be imported as a completely built unit and will be launched later in 2016 in the price range of ₹38-40 lakhs.
Toyota Camry Hybrid
Toyota showcased the hybrid version of its Camry model at the expo. Toyota Camry Hybrid incorporates an electronic CVT transmission, 205PS (151 kW) hybrid power train, which sources its grunt from a combination of a 2AR-FXE, 4-cylinder in-line petrol engine that gives maximum torque 213Nm @ 4,500rpm and a permanent magnet synchronous motor, which gives 143PS power and maximum torque 270Nm. It comes with a Nickel-metal Hydride 245 V, 6.5 AH battery. The vehicle measures 4,850mm X 1,825mm X 1,480mm . The car currently has a price tag of ₹32.2 lakhs ex-showroom in New Delhi.
Volkswagen Passat GTE
The Volkswagen Passat GTE is among the three re-introduced vehicles in India in the hybrid configuration. The other two being the Nissan X-Trail and the Honda Accord. The Volkswagen Passat GTE is a plug-in hybrid vehicle, which is powered by an 85 kW (115PS) electric motor and a 156PS 1.4 liter turbocharged petrol engine mated to a 6-speed gearbox. It has a combined output power of 218PS and a maximum torque of 400Nm. Both engines put together give a range of 1,000km. The hybrid is claimed to take eight seconds to accelerate from 0-100kmph, while its top speed is 220kmph. It would be launched in 2016 and may be priced around ₹40 lakhs.
Tech Specs Table – Comparison of Green Vehicles at Delhi Auto Expo
|Car Brand/Model||Type||Engine||Max Power (PS)||Max Torque (Nm)||Top Speed (km/h)||Wheelbase (mtr)||Price (₹)|
|Mahindra Supro Electric||Electric||72V 3-phase induction electric motor||40.78 @ 3000 rpm||90 @ 3000 rpm||95||1.95||4-4.5 lacs|
|Mahindra e-20 sport||Electric||72V 3-phase induction Electric motor||143 @ 12500 rpm||91 @ 3000 rpm||120||2.06||To be announced|
|Mahindra e-Verito||Electric||72V 3-phase induction electric motor||41.46 @ 3500 rpm||91 @ 3000 rpm||86||2.63||~ 6 lacs|
|Tata Magic Iris Ziva||Hydrogen cell fuel||Air-cooled hydrogen cell stack||12.24 @ 2100 rpm||42 @ 2100 rpm||54||1.65||~ 5.10 lacs|
|Toyota Prius||Hybrid||1.8L 4- cylinder VVT-i + electric motor||99 @ 5200 rpm||142 @ 3600 rpm||180||2.70||~ 38-40 lacs|
|Toyota Camry Hybrid||Hybrid||2AR-FXE 4-cylinder petrol engine + permanent magnet synchronous motor||158 @ 5700 rpm||213 @ 4500 rpm||186||2.78||32 lacs|
|Volkswagen Passat GTE||Hybrid||1.4L Turbocharged + 3 phase permanent magnet synchronous motor||156 @ 5000-6000 rpm||249 @ 1500-3500 rpm||225||2.79||40 lacs|
Competition in this segment is expected to intensify as automakers such as Honda, Chevrolet, and Tesla Motors are also planning to launch their electric vehicles in India. This will result in competitive pricing for green cars, benefiting both the consumer and the environment.