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.