We all know that the automobiles we use are the main source for the CO2 emissions thus the car-makers are obligated to design and develop cars with an alternative energy source. There have been a lot of experiments, trials and errors, tests to make this dream a reality by scientists of various automobile as well as non-automobiles units across the globe. Now there are few vehicles available finally which literally produce no emission at all. This super-hit futuristic technology has its drawbacks too. The cost of production is pretty high, it has limited range of mileage, charging is required frequently, unavailability of charging points and stations at major places, etc., are stopping the users to switch over to these zero emission cars. However, the hybrid cars have solved these technical problems and other related issues with it, but the expensive price still remains a hindrance between its eager aficionados and the possible purchase buy them. Here is a list of some of the green cars designed for the Indian driving which shall hit the roads of India some soon in near future.
1. REVA NXR and NXG:
Designed and developed by Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Private Limited which was formerly known as Reva Electric Car Company. It has come up with these two fantastic models which may start roaming on the streets of India anytime from 2012 onwards. The Reva NXR is a complete electric, compact three-door hatchback fitted with enhanced telematics with quick-charging choices. This car can accommodate four elders without any space crunch, with an expected mileage range of 160 km with a possible top speed of 104 kmph on a smooth road. Scheduled to be launched in the Indian market sometime in 2012, this vehicle has been planned to get out of production line from 2010 itself.
As for Reva NXG which is more on the muscular and sport side with a two-passenger accommodation is a complete electric hatchback car which has a design to captivate its buyer with its beautiful dynamic outlook and performance. This car can do 200 km in its mileage range and it can accelerate to a top-speed of 130 kmph.
Today Reva is being sold in 24 nations across the globe with a claim to have the largest fleet of deployed electric cars in the automobile market. Around 3000 electric vehicles of Reva are on road are running with a user experience of 70 million kilometers. The company as of now is establishing an ultra-low-carbon vehicle assembly unit in Bangalore, Karnataka where it can produce 30,000 units every year to supply the increasing demand of the customers as well as to make sure it devices new methodology to deliver more cheaper and greener products.
2. Tata Indica Vista Electric:
Tata Motor’s Indica Vista is a flagship model of the firm which has won many positive customer response as well as two honorable auto awards in India. After Reva’s G-Wiz, Tata Indica Vista Electric will become the second vehicle to be exported to offshore nations. Equipped with super polymer lithium-ion batteries which are also known as Prem magnet motor and is considered superior to the conventional batteries. Because of this kind of advanced batteries, the Tata Indica Vista Electric is going to be stronger and faster than its diesel and petrol versions currently available in India. With a strong power of 55 kw at 4,000 rpm with a peak torque of 160 Nm at 1750 rpm it can easily maneuver across the city lanes in busy traffic without putting pressure on the electric motor. The battery efficiency is of 26.5 kWh.
On a single charge this car can give a mileage range of 200 km while it can jump from a 0 to 30 kmph in 4.5 seconds as well as it can do the 0 to 60 kmph in less than 10 seconds. Fitted with on speed FWD, the batteries take around 8 hours to completely charge itself, which is a really good prospect for a daily office or college commuting person.
With a seating space of four elders this five door electric hatchback has two airbags only for the driver and captain. On the exterior this car is very much same as its predecessors. The car has a good volume of boot space and the interior is decorated elaborately. This is a fine blend of style, engineering, performance and a signature legacy of Tata Motors.
3. Honda CR-Z Hybrid:
The name CR-Z is the abbreviation for Compact Renaissance Zero for the two hybrid concept models of Honda which it introduced in the 2010 Detroit Auto Show. This new hybrid combines the sports genes of the two seater Honda CRX with the environment friendliness of the current demand. From showcasing cars to road-running realities, the CR-Z looks very much like the two-door version to the Honda Insight which was launched in 2010. The CR-Z is going to be a petrol-electric hybrid. Where a SOHC four-cylinder 1.5 liter engine will be beneath the bonnet with a tiny 13hp electric motor. This combination of petrol engine and electric motor brings together a production of 122 hp and 128 lb-feet of peak torque (123 lb-feet is in the CVT-equipped models). Now then, when the strength is sent through the six-speed standard manual transmission the CR-Z supposedly gives 31 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. If one goes for the CVT model, then the mileage goes to 36 mpg in city and 38 mpg on the highway.
The three drive-select mode is a very unique feature of CR-Z where the driver gets to choose from Normal mode, Sport mode and Econ mode. These modes alter the throttle-response, electric motor assistance and electric power-steering assistance for a better performance. For example; Sport mode changes the tachometer illumination from blue to red whence the steering of the vehicle becomes heavier, the sensitivity of throttle increases and the electric motor immediately starts discharging the 100 volt nickel-metal battery which is hybrid in itself, for performance. The Econ mode makes the throttle go a bit light as well as the steering, the tachometer will either stay blue or turn green, depending upon how the car is being driven. If the AC is on, it will not put much strain on the engine. As for the normal mode, expect it to give results between the Sport and Econ modes.
With modern state-of-art accessories inside the cabin, only the tachometer is traditional gauge with everything else digital in the instrument cluster. For now, this car runs in the American market, but it can be expected soon to be on the Indian roads.
4. Hybrid Maruti Swift:
The Japanese company has been taking hybrid cars very seriously now, this has put them to do extra work in order to bring the Swift Hybrid into manufacturing by 2013. For the first time Suzuki showcased its hybrid Swift’s previous generation hybrid car in an auto show in Tokyo in 2009. This concept hybrid Swift used a 658cc petrol engine which powered the electric motor on fitted on the front axle to move the vehicle by 74 hp of power. It is also good to make it clear that the power of the engine will not be used to put the wheels at motion directly at any given point of time. The total weight of the vehicle is much thought about since the less of weight, more proper use of the power generated by the electric motors.
The model which Suzuki wants to launch now, will have lithium-ion batteries to initially power the vehicle’s movement and when the battery runs out of charge the conventional petrol engine will take over and move the vehicle. It seems that Maruti Suzuki understand that a complete electric vehicle will always have a charging problem, so a blend of engine run and electric run vehicle is a must according to them.
5. Hyundai i10 EV:
The i10 Electric made its world debut in the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. This wasn’t ever a concept vehicle but a production ready car which went on sale in the middle of 2010 in South Korea. This five-door hatchback has a 49 kw / 65 hp electric motor with a 16 kWh polymer lithium-ion battery which has been co-developed with the LG of Korea. The dual recharging system has primarily a 220V slower but beneficial recharging cycle when it has to perform during off peak hours or when the utility rate of the car is low. There is a 415V industrial strength current charge mode available as well which can charge the battery much faster. However, the firm says that if charged in a 415V quick cycle, the battery will burn out its charge to 85 per cent of its efficiency within 15 minutes of use while if the battery is being charged under normal cycle with a 220V household power point, it will have a full 100 per cent charge to support the motor for around five hours.
With this kind of battery and motor the firm assures of a driving mileage range of 160 kilometers of 100 miles with a maximum speed of 130 kmph or 80 mph for this all-electric car.
6. Mahindra Scorpio Hybrid:
Mahindra & Mahindra’s award winning Scorpio is coming up with in a new Avatar, the Mahindra Scorpio Hybrid. This fine blend of a diesel engine and an electric motor is designed and developed by the technicians of Mahindra only. This SUV has a high technology involved in its manufacturing which makes it a perfect green-car for it burns less fuel and since has a reduced emission compared to its predecessors. With the help of an inbuilt FST (fuel smart technology) it saves almost 5 per cent of fuel which would have been spent in the conventional models of Scorpio. With that, since the vehicle is utilizing alternative energy source it will help in saving more fuel and consequently more money. The 2.2 liter diesel engine delivers 113 bhp with a top torque of 270 Nm, while its electric motor delivers 40 bhp of pure power. The six-speed transmission is electronically controlled with four kind of different modes to drive on. This includes hybrid generator mode, motor assist mode, hybrid idle charging mode and hybrid regenerative braking mode. The best feature of the vehicle is that it can run simultaneously using the electricity and combustion engine on the motor assist mode.
4495mm long, 1817mm wide and 1975mm tall Scorpio Hybrid can accommodate 8 passengers in it with ease while its dry weight is 2510 kilograms. With a 60 liter fuel tank and its electric motor it does promise to take one for an economic yet impressively powerful long drive.
7. Toyota Prius Hybrid:
This car in particular is one of the most admired, and I would like to add ‘desired’ hybrid car in the worldwide automobile market. It has a Nickel-Metal Hydride battery that pumps up the permanent magnet synchronous AC motor which has a capacity of 80 hp and a peak torque output of 207 Nm. The voltage is 650V at its maximum with a hybrid system net hp of 134 hp.
whereas it also has a DOHC 1.8 liter four-cylinder, 16-valve with VVT-I (variable valve timing with intelligence) Aluminum engine with three different modes, namely EV, ECO and Power mode. The engine gives 98 hp at 5200 rpm on a peak torque of 142 Nm at 4000 rpm. The compression ratio of the engine is 13.0:1 while the induction system is a sequential various-point EFI with ETCS-I (electronic throttle control system with intelligence). The ignition system is electronic with TDI (Toyota direct ignition) with an emission rating by the California Air Resources Board, which qualifies it to be AT-PZEV (Advance technology partial zero emission vehicle).
This is essentially a front-wheel drive vehicle equipped with MacPherson strut suspension on the front along with stabilizer bar while torsion beam suspension on the rear to keep the driving smooth for both the man and the machine. With a 34.2 feet diameter circle for turning it has EPS (electric power steering) where rack and pinion is power assisted. The front ventilated disc brakes are power-assisted while the rear it is the solid disc with combined regenerative braking with SSS (star safety system).
8. Chevrolet Spark Electra:
Spark Electra or Spark EV by General Motors has been delayed a bit, but it is going to be a wait worth it. The car is designed to suit the overall needs of the Indian customers. Powered by multiple nano-phosphate Lithium-Ion battery pack, a strong responsive powertrain can be anticipated for its presence under the hood of Chevrolet Spark Electra. Previously Chevrolet was in close alliance with Reva for the design and development of their Electric car but since Mahindra took over the Reva, Chevrolet had to find some other sources to develop the whole concept on its own.
9. Maruti Suzuki SX4 Hybrid:
This is a complete hybrid car by Maruti Suzuki which is built on a sedan platform with AMT (Automated Manual Transmission). It is a fine blend of style, environment-friendly and flexibility in many aspects. A combination of a 50 KW electric motor and a 1.2 liter petrol engine along with a five-speed AMT result in low fuel combustion as well as low emission. The car can run solely on its advance lithium-ion battery technology which saves on conventional fuel and makes it run on zero emission, once the battery goes empty, the car can work on the conventional petrol engine to go further.
10. Tata Nano Electric:
After introducing the cheapest car of the world, Tata Motors has showcased its all electric car in the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. The car is built on the same platform as the Nano. Equipped with a super polymer Lithium-Ion battery for power, it can give a driving range mileage of 160 km after a single charge. The four door hatchback has some boot space as well. If trials and test go fine then this may come out as the cheapest possible electric car on the roads of India. The price is not yet reveled but it should be somewhere close to its parent model 600cc petrol Nano, which is a little above Rs 1.25 lakh (ex-showroom).
All these cars may cost a bit or may be a lot expensive compared to the traditional technology equipped and conventional fuel run vehicles but in the long run it will be worth it for all. The overall money spent on maintenance and fuel will come down drastically within a few months of its use. The CO2 emission will be lowered gradually, ensuring the next coming generations to feast on a better environment than we live in currently. However, before the launch of these EV and Hybrids, we have to be ready with their recharging systems in ample numbers.