A list of the green cars that will make it to India soon

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.

Reva NXR

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.

Reva NXG

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.

Tata Indica Vista Electric

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.

Honda CR-Z Hybrid

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.

Hybrid Maruti Swift

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.

Hyundai i10 EV

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.

Mahindra Scorpio Hybrid

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).

Toyota Prius Hybrid

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.

Chevrolet Spark Electra

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.

Maruti Suzuki SX4 Hybrid

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).

Tata Nano Electric

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.

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.