Maruti Suzuki India Limited today unveiled SX4 Hybrid and Eeco Charge Electric concepts. The company handed over the first lot of two Maruti Suzuki SX4 Hybrid cars and One ‘Eeco Charge’ to Mr Arvinder Singh Lovely, Hon’ble Minister of Transport for NCT Delhi. The vehicles which be used at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, were handed over by Mr. Shinzo Nakanishi, Managing Director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India Limited, in New Delhi.
SX4 Hybrid is a Full Parallel Hybrid machine with Automated Manual Transmission (AMT). The hybrid system used in the SX4 Hybrid features an electric motor and twin clutch arrangement with advance Lithium-ion battery technology. This concept combines a 1.2 litre K-series petrol engine and a 50 kW electric motor along with 5-speed Automated Manual Transmission. Together, these provide high fuel economy with lower emissions. The SX4 Hybrid is also capable of running solely on its electric motor, offering a further boost to fuel efficiency and zero emission modes in city driving. The SX4 hybrid offers 25 per cent more fuel efficiency compared to conventional gasoline vehicle.
‘Eeco Charge’ is a zero-emission, pure electric vehicle developed on a MPV platform. It is powered by a 50kW motor and a 24kWh Lithium-ion battery. On full charge it promises a driving range of around 100km and attains top speed of 100 km per hour. The ‘Eeco Charge’ also has the ‘Sport Mode’ for acceleration enthusiast. The battery for ‘Eeco Charge’ has been packaged under floor for better drivability and retaining ample boot space. The real time display of State of Charge and ‘Distance to Empty’ addresses user’s anxiety. The ‘Eeco Charge’ can be charged using household power source.
The development of Hybrid and Electric vehicles is undertaken by Maruti Suzuki to enhance its R&D capabilities and gear itself for greener technologies. A team of 25 Maruti Suzuki engineers worked on this project with global hybrid technology and component suppliers.
Maruti Suzuki has prepared 14 future technology vehicles for use at Commonwealth Games. Ten of these vehicles are Maruti Suzuki SX4 Hybrid cars and then there are 4 Maruti Suzuki ‘Eeco Charge’ vehicles.
On the occasion Mr. Shinzo Nakanishi said, “I am happy that engineers at Maruti Suzuki have developed these future technology vehicles. This project has helped our engineers to increase their knowledge and enhance their R&D capability. We are grateful to the Government for their leadership to promote green technology in automobiles. Maruti Suzuki is happy to be associated with the Commonwealth Games national initiative, through these vehicles.”
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Maruti Suzuki has developed the SX4 Hybrid vehicles and ‘Eeco Charge’ concept vehicles as a part of the demonstration fleet. The demonstration of the fleet of SX4 Hybrids and ‘Eeco Charge’ vehicles at the Commonwealth Games 2010, is in line with the ambitious NHPP (National Hybrid Propulsion Program) and MNRE (Ministry of New & Renewable Energy Sources) program outline.
What is NHPP and MNRE
The National Hybrid Propulsion Programme (NHPP) is an initiative of the Government of India. It is a public-private partnership initiative and India’s first in hybrid technology; being jointly funded by Govt. of India and Indian Automotive OEM’s. NHPP is expected to develop awareness and generate interest in the Indian automobile market to the world of hybrids.
Considering the importance of battery technology for successful EV/HEV development, MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable energy) has initiated a program on high energy density battery. The objective of this joint program, funded by Govt. of India & automotive OEM’s, is to carry out the local development of high energy Li-ion battery packs by battery manufactures for pure electric/ hybrid electric vehicles.
Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has formed a core group of OEM’s to take these projects forward. In this initiative SIAM functions as a nodal agency for OEM’s, component manufacturers and Government of India. In line with Phase I of the project, OEM’s are to showcase their Hybrid and Electric vehicles during Commonwealth Games 2010.