Maruti has confirmed launching an electric hybrid car this year in India, reports Hindustan Times. The publication further reveals that either it would be the Maruti Swift Range Extender or a new model based on the Swift Dzire compact sedan. For those asking, Government of India offers incentives of Rs. 13,000-1,24,000 on purchase of sub-4-metre four-wheelers under the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric vehicles in India) scheme. The Indian people also got a chance to see Maruti Swift electric at the recently concluded International Green Mobility Expo.
Talking about the Swift Range Extender, it was firstly showcased at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo. It in-houses a 658cc, 3-pot petrol motor in accordance with an electric motor. The electric motor is powered by 5kwh lithiumion battery pack. It can be fully charged in 90 minutes by connecting to a 200 volt electric socket. The Swift electric hybrid can travel upto 25.5 kilometers on electricity mode. The engine develops a power of 73bhp, while unleashing an incredible mileage of 48.2kmpl. Although, like it's several other models, it won't be easy for Maruti to price it aggressively as the engine would be imported from Japan. Having said that, it might not turn out to be a wise move for the country's biggest automaker to launch Swift hybrid as it might not get as many buyers as its petrol avatar.
Ever since, Government of India launched the FAME initiative, several big automakers such as Mahindra, Tata and Maruti have come forward and showed their support for it. Mahindra even rolled out the first 5 units of its Verito electric on the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, which would go on sale by the end of 2015. Currently, there are only three electric hybrid cars in form of Toyota Camry, Toyota Prius and BMW i8. On one hand, the two Toyota cars cost in excess of 30 Lakhs, on the other hand, the BMW i8 costs a whooping 2.3 Crore. Hence, pricing the Swift Hybrid competitively would be the most challenging task for Maruti at the time of its launch.