India’s largest utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra, is developing the world’s first hybrid technology that can be deployed in vehicles with manual transmission and enhance fuel efficiency by almost 20%.
The company may debut its hybrids at February’s Indian Motor Show. Mahindra and Mahindra have sold around four lakh vehicles with the micro-hybrid technology.Also, Mahndra acquired the Reva electric car company recently, and launched the electric car – Mahindra E2O.
The company is now moving to the next level of sustainable green mobility by focusing on full-scale hybrids and has roped in various technology partners, which are experts in the field.
“We have signed up with Samsung SDI, which is the global leader in lithium ion batteries for development and supply of these batteries for our hybrid range of vehicles,” Rajan Wadhera, chief executive, technology and product development, told ET from Cape Town in South Africa where he was attending a company meeting. “We are perfecting the hybrid technology to deploy it in various platforms and vehicles across the Mahindra range.”
Usually, hybrids employ the automatic transmission. Mahindra says, although automatic cars are increasing in India, they cost more and less fuel-efficient. That’s the reason, Mahindra will go the manual way, says the company.
“We are keen to develop a manual transmission mode compatible with the hybrid technology,” Wadhera said. “It is expected to be more efficient and also more adaptable to the range of vehicles sold across various markets.”
Other technology partners include Germany’s largest auto component maker ZF, and tyre-maker Continental. The full-scale hybrids are likely to be available as the top-end variants of the SUV’s such as the XUV500 and Scorpio. Both these models already employ the micro-hybrid technology, which enhances mileage up to 5% by switching off the engine when not required.
Mahindra officials expect that the initial success of its hybrid vehicles will establish new benchmarks for fuel efficiency in the Indian market.
Source : ET