2008 Is Year of the Hybrid Car in India

The bad news is that a hefty price tag on hybrids can make their mass adoption a virtual non-starter with import duties of 110%.

Published: 13-Jan-2008

NEW DELHI: Get ready for a punch of electricity while you drive around. Hybrids, that alternate between a fuel and battery to power your car, are set to roll on Indian roads and carmakers like Honda and Mahindra & Mahindra are already displaying the green cars at the Auto Expo.

And, Volvo could join the carmakers with a hybrid truck in the next three-four years.While the auto certification agency Automotive Research Association of India works out homologation norms for the dual-power cars that promise higher efficiency, companies are busy planning roll-out strategies and preparing the service back-up .

Hybrids are powered by two different sources: an electric motor and an internal combustion engine that propels the car and recapture energy through a process known as regenerative braking - where the energy normally lost through braking or coasting goes to power the electric motor. To help save energy, the internal combustion engine is switched off when the car comes to a stop, that helps reduce fuel consumption and emissions, particularly in city traffic.

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