Maruti Suzuki developed the SX4 Hybrid and Eeco Charge concepts as a part of the Government-initiated and SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers)-coordinated National Hybrid Propulsion Program (NHPP) and the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy Sources (MNRE)’s High Energy Density Battery Development Program. Both concepts are derived from production vehicles powered by gasoline- or CNG-fueled engines.
SX4 Hybrid. The SX4 Hybrid, first unveiled in January at the Auto Expo 2010 in New Delhi, is a full parallel hybrid on a sedan platform. The hybrid system used in the SX4 Hybrid features an electric motor and twin clutch arrangement with Lithium-ion battery technology.
This concept combines a 1.2 liter K-series gasoline 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% more fuel efficiency compared to the conventional gasoline vehicle, which is powered by a 1586 cc, 16-valve DOHC VVT engine.
EECO Charge. Eeco Charge is a pure electric vehicle developed on a MPV platform. Powered by a 50kW motor and a 24 kWh Lithium-ion battery, it offers a full-charge driving range of around 100 km (61 miles) and has a top speed of 100 km/h.
The battery for Eeco Charge has been packaged under floor for better drivability and retaining ample trunk space. A real time display of State of Charge and Distance to Empty is intended to address user’s anxiety. The Eeco Charge can be charged using household power source.
The conventional Eeco, available in 5- or 7-seat variants, is powered by a 1196 cc, 16 valve, 4-cylinder engine.
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; it is being jointly funded by Govt. of India and Indian Automotive OEMs. 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 initiated a program on high energy density battery. The objective of this joint program, funded by Govt. of India and automotive OEMs, 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 OEMs to take these projects forward. In this initiative SIAM functions as a nodal agency for OEMs, component manufacturers and Government of India. In line with Phase I of the project, OEMs were to showcase their Hybrid and Electric vehicles during Commonwealth Games 2010.
(A hat-tip to Vikas!)