Buyers guide for green vehicles in India

Go Green may be an old mantra with the Bleed Blue and rest of the other notions taking over. It seems that auto companies have been also engulfed in the “Blue” revolution. German companies mostly refrain from calling hybrid technologies or likewise as “Green” and instead prefer to name it “Blue”. With all this hullabaloo about Green and Blue, customers are confused as to which car to buy in the hybrid segment. We as always are here to ease your confusion and have brought out a list from the lowly Maruti 800 to the pricey Porsche Cayenne Hybrid. Well when making up this list, we were surprised to know that India actually has a whole lot of cars which have Green or Blue credentials. The cars have been classified purely on the basis of the fuel that they run and this means CNG, LPG, Electricity and also Hybrid.

First comes the CNG brigade and this has its fair share of cars. We have classified them according to manufacturers in alphabetical order.

Chevrolet : There is the Chevrolet Aveo with CNG option and though the petrol unit was a low selling unit, the CNG one has seen its fair amount of sales. To support the additional weight of the CNG tank, Chevrolet have made reinforcements to the rear suspension. This car is available in a single LS variant and is called the Chevrolet Aveo CNG. Price of this car is Rs 6.28 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai.

Hindustan Motors :
Hindustan Motors with their ageing lineup here in India have now got only the Ambassador CNG. There was the Lancer CNG as also the Cedia with alternate fuel options however those have got only dismal sales and hence were discontinued. While the outdated styling of the Ambassador may put off many, its comfortable back seat along with the reliable engine as also the CNG option have pulled in many of the babus. The 1.8 liter engine puts out 56 Bhp of power in the CNG mode and is priced competitively at Rs 6 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai.

Hyundai : Hyundai have got three warriors in the CNG field. First is the entry level Hyundai Santro Xing CNG which is a very good option for first time buyers.  Lower emissions as also less loss in power make this a veritable buy. Its low running costs also ensures that it gives complete peace of mind. Prices start at Rs 3.25 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai. Next up is the Hyundai I10 CNG which with its compact dimensions and nice interiors makes a best buy. Especially with the lower costs associated with the CNG option and also the best in class fuel economy in petrol mode. This one is an eco friendly best buy now with its Rs 4.01 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai price tag. Hyundai Accent CNG is the last model of the CNG tirade that Hyundai has launched recently. It is a sedan which is well past its prime however at Rs 5.54 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai, it is a steal for a sedan.

Mahindra : Mahindra’s failed affair with Renault left Mahindra and Mahindra with the parental rights of the Mahindra Logan and in a bid to make this practical Logan more appealing, the company have now added a CNG kit. The best part is that now Meru cabs wouldn’t have to get the CNG kit retrofitted and would instead get it as a factory fitted option. The price is wallet friendly with the CNG option adding Rs 56,000 to the price of Rs 4.66 lakhs for the 1.4 petrol model. This price is ex-show room, Mumbai.

Maruti Suzuki :
India’s largest car manufacturer has got an equally appealing portfolio of green cars. First up is the entry level Maruti Alto Green. It features the company’s patented intelligent- Gas Port Injection or i-GPi technology which gives more power and at the same time class leading fuel efficiency. In CNG mode, the Alto Green produces 38.8 Bhp of power and is available from Rs 3.23 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai. The upmarket van from Maruti’s stable, the Maruti Eeco is also available with a green avatar. The 1196 engine develops 63 Bhp of power in the CNG mode and it suffices for intra city travel. Its fuel efficiency has been already proven and now with the CNG option, it is pretty cheap to run as well. Like all Maruti products, this one wouldn’t burn a hole in the pocket with its Rs 3.48 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai price. The Estilo Green had earlier received the K series engine and now gets the i-GPi technology as well.  Prices start at Rs 4.12 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai. The face lifted Wagon R also gets the CNG tech going for it. The CNG fuelled engine produces 59 Bhp of power and is available at Rs 4.23 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai. The feature laden big car from Maruti produces 85 Bhp while in the CNG mode and returns about 21 kms for each Kg of CNG burnt. The SX4 Green is available for as low as Rs 7.66 lakhs ex-show room, Mumbai.

Toyota : The most popular MUV of all, inspite of repeated onslaughts by competition, the Toyota Innova also gets a CNG kit added onto it. Unlike the others discussed so far here, the 2.0 liter petrol motor with CNG costs a whooping Rs 1 lakh over the price of the base model. As of now, the Innova CNG is available in Delhi-NCR region and Mumbai. The CNG kit may reduce the running costs however the luggage space is also reduced. The CNG Innova retails at Rs 9.95 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai. The company’s popular Toyota Corolla Altis is also offered with the CNG kit. While this car may have been the best seller for Toyota around the world, in India, the case is a bit different. In a dash to add appeal to this sedan, the CNG kit is added to lower down the running costs as also to stamp the company’s green credentials. The price of the Toyota Corolla Altis CNG is Rs 11.11 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai.

Now is the turn of the LPG vehicles and most of the aforementioned models are also offered with a LPG option.

Chevrolet : The company’s smallest car, the Chevrolet Spark is offered with a LPG kit. The 1 liter engine of this car makes 60 Bhp of power in the LPG mode. While the fuel efficiency in LPG mode is only an ARAI claimed 13.2 kmpl, the lower cost of LPG ensures that running costs overall remain on the lower side. Price for the Spark LPG starts at Rs 3.6 lakhs. The Chevrolet Beat LPG gets the new Smartech engine and also a 28 liter LPG fuel tank. Claims by General Motors say that with both the petrol and LPG modes, the car can cover a total of 1100 kms. Pricing for the Beat is also user friendly at Rs 4.11 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai.

Hindustan Motors : The company also offers the HM Ambassador in LPG. The Amby produces 65 Bhp in the LPG mode and is available for as low as Rs 5.22 lakhs ex-show room, Mumbai.

Hyundai : The Hyundai Santro Xing is also offered with LPG option and instead of the spare tyre, Hyundai have fitted the LPG cylinder. This means that boot space isn’t compromised. The prices start at Rs 3.66 lakhs. The Hyundai Accent Executive is another vehicle from Hyundai which is offered in both LPG and CNG options. The best part is that inspite of the LPG kit, performance isn’t blunted. Price is also reasonable at Rs 5.36 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai.

Maruti : The company’s entry level vehicle which is currently not being sold in 13 major cities, the Maruti 800 gets a LPG kit . The most frugal of Maruti’s cars has become even more cheaper to now run. Its 800 cc engine produces 35 Bhp of power and even more alluring is the price tag of only Rs 2.18 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai. The company’s other old work horse, the Maruti Omni is now available with the LPG option and it still promises maximum space for minimum money. It is priced at Rs 2.45 lakhs for the Duo version. The Maruti tall boy, the Wagon R gets the LPG cylinder kit and one which doesn’t compromise boot space much. The Wagon R is one good city car and its price starts at Rs 4.01 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai.

Tata : Tata Motors best selling hatchback, the Tata Indica has now got a LPG option. Its 1.2 liter engine develops 61 bhp in LPG mode. Other Indica virtues like big space and good ride quality ensure that this is a good buy. Its Rs 3.38 lakhs price tag is also an exciting prospect.

So after being done with the alternate fuel thing, it is now the turn of pure electricity driven cars or rather car in India.

Mahindra : The Mahindra Revai is the sole campaigner in this segment and it is the greenest car in India because of no emissions from its tail pipe.  This vehicle on a single charge can give about 80 kms of range. A full charge however takes 8 hours and this would be a constraint for some. Also the available space for two doesn’t make it a too practical option. Prices start at Rs 2.85 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai.

Now comes the turn of hybrid vehicles. These cars combine some innovative technology which can consist of battery packs or even small things such as stop start.

Mahindra :
Well, Mahindra was never known to make vehicles with significant changes however the small invention that Mahindra has brought about in their two vehicles amounts to about 10% savings in fuel. With help from Bosch, Mahindra and Mahindra designed a stop start technology which works by turning the engine off. This happens if the system detects that the vehicle has stopped moving for more than 13 seconds. However the one downside of this technology is that when the engine cuts off, the supply to the airconditioner also shuts off and this leaves only the blower on. However Mahindra have countered this by offering a switch which deactivates the stop start system. Both the Mahindra Scorpio and the Bolero get this technology. The former sells for Rs 6.71 lakhs, whereas the latter goes for Rs 10.46 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai.

Porsche : Well, you really can’t expect Porsche to save the environment with their fast cars and gas guzzling numbers. However Porsche recently have had a change of heart and now feel more environmentally inclined. They have come out with the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid which is from its 3 liter V6 engine develops 333 Bhp of power and also gets a 34kW electric motor. Propelled only by the electric motor, this SUV can run upto 2 kms and at a top speed of 138 kmph. Fuel efficiency figures are pegged at 12.21 kmpl. The priciest of the lot with a price tag of Rs 77.65 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai, this Porsche is only for the one who has got an eco mind and lots of moolah to spare.

Toyota : Arguably the best hybrid that has come to the Indian shores. This car gets 136 Bhp from its engine and also has an electric motor. The latter works when the car is crawling at city speeds. Even the petrol motor on its own is highly fuel efficient. Unfortunately, the vehicle being a CBU means that it costs Rs 27 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai.

We might have missed out on a few cars here and there however with all the cash at one’s disposal, these are some of the cars that one can buy in India currently.

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