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Report: Suzuki to introduce Swift-based PHEV in 2013

The Nikkei reports that Suzuki Motor Corp. will begin selling a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle as early as 2013. The car, to be a remodeled version of the Swift hatchback, will use a small lithium-ion battery capable of powering it for about 30 km (19 miles) on a full charge, according to the report. It will also use a gasoline engine to generate electricity.

Suzuki introduced the Swift Plug-in Hybrid at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2009 as a concept (earlier post), and gained type approval from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in 2010 (earlier post).

The concept Swift plug-in is powered by a 55 kW, 180 N·m AC synchronous motor and a 2.66 kWh Li-ion battery pack. The 0.66L engine is the K6A, earlier versions of which were used in the Cappuccino. Average fuel consumption, calculated by combining fuel consumption during operation on electric power from grid charge and fuel consumption during hybrid operation after depletion of the battery pack is 37.6 km/L on the JC08 cycle (88.4 mpg US, or 2.7 L/100km).

The hybrid will likely be priced 500,000 yen higher than the gasoline-powered Swift, but the price tag will not exceed 2 million yen [US$24,900]. By touting the car’s affordability, Suzuki aims to sell several thousand in Japan first and then begin exporting the model.


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Any car with a plug is interesting and this one priced below 2 million yen could sell for less than 20000 USD in the US. That makes it really interesting also because the Swift is a well known global model that sells in excess of 150000 units per year (don’t have the exact sales number though). It is smaller than the Prius plugin but that model will likely sell for 30000 USD and the Swift does not look as geeky as the Prius does IMO so it is going to be interesting to see how the plugin Swift will do when it hits the market.


A 4 seater @ $20,000 getting 88.4 mpg US may find a market.


This could make future car ownership a better possibility in countries with extended man made financial crisis, high unsustainable fuel importation and high pollution problems.

Remains to convince current gas guzzlers owners to use smaller more efficient vehicles.


Our local Hydro electricity supplier claims that BEVs and/or PHEVs with 16 KWh battery pack (to get the full $8,000 + $1,000 subsidies) would cost 9 times less per Km for electricity than equivalent ICE vehicle for gas.

Secondly, if 25% of the actual fleet (i.e 4+ million) were BEVs or PHEVs, the total e-power consumption would increase by only 1% and would NOT represent a major change in demand. Even a 100% electric fleet, mostly recharged at night, would be very manageable with the current and future planned hydro plants.


This could put Suzuki back on the map after GM dumped them. They have a dealer network and if they can get this to market it could sell like hotcakes.


I saw a Fiat 500 commercial, they showed it on the open road, wrong message, wrong car. Turn the 500 into an affordable EREV and you may get some buyers.


Toyota is about to come out with a compact version of the Prius, should be under $20k in the US.. will use the same powertrain as the current midsized Prius.

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