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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Paradigm Shifts Greening The Planet

Red light for Hybrid?


Hybrid cars are certainly on the high road to automotive discipline, but how much longer before they go mainstream?
RAVI INDER SINGH | Issue Dated: January 9, 2011
Tags : Honda Civic Hybrid | Volkswagen |Greening The Planet | Hybrid |

Before the first Nano even rolled off the assembly lines, there were fears of nightmarish traffic choking the roads, but though it did not quite happen for the Tatas, our streets are none the wiser. Cars continue to be high up on the dream acquisitions lists and greenhouse emissions loom large over our cities. There may however, be some respite to be found in hybrid technology, which is very much a part of the global market, and is already in use for locomotives, buses and submarines.
A hybrid car, often confused with an electric car, uses fuel in addition to electricity to run. The emission rate is far less as the car runs on electric power at low speeds and braking, but switches to fuel injection at high speed. The engine size is smaller resulting in less weight leading to improved aerodynamics and also greater fuel efficiency. Cars like Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid have entered the Indian market, but are available at a premium. “The cost might continue to remain high for a while as lobbying and pressure from the market giants (who aren't planning anything hybrid) would not let these hybrid cars secure enough market share,” claims a senior official at a leading car manufacturing company, on conditions of anonymity.
All said and done, are developing nations ready for hybrid cars? Some auto experts maintain that the infrastructure required to run and maintain such cars is not available in developing nations, and hence it’d be a while before a Tata or a Volkswagen launches one of these marvels. Until then, it’s best to do our bit for the environment with regular checkups of our vehicles, and/or use of public transport.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017