Top 5 Hybrid/Electric Cars in India

India is heading on to take upon the electric and hybrid car segment. The catch is that the cars are not only pricey but their maintenance is expensive too. And when it comes to alternate fuels, we have relied more on LPG and CNG instead of electric energy. That has however not dampened the car manufacturers’ hopes in India as they have gone ahead and introduced clean and green vehicles. Not all the cars are expensive, some of them might befriend your price while some might seem shockingly expensive. Either ways, if you’re planning on buying a hybrid, you’d not be disappointed considering the focus some manufacturers are paying towards the price. Here is a list entailing 5 of the most popular hybrids/electric cars available in India:

5. Mahindra e2o:

Portrayed as a concept car back in the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo, the e20 from Mahindra found its way to the Indian market. Manufactured at its facility in Bengaluru, the Mahindra e20 rolls out as the first all-electric in India. The e20 from Mahindra comes powered by a 48V maintenance-free Lithium-ion battery that helps churn out around 25 bhp and 53Nm of torque. Speed is out of the question on this car but if you’re willing to go slow and safe, this ride tops a speed of 81 km/hr. Though a full charge takes 5 hours, Mahindra also has Quick Charge that helps charge the car in just about an hour. Once fully charged, it can cover a distance of 120Km, which is sufficient for city travel. The interiors on the e20 get s a large touch-screen interface as well as a monochrome digital speed information pod. The price expectancy of this vehicle ranges from 4.79 lakhs to 5.34 lakhs.

4. Toyota Prius

India was first introduced to hybrids when Toyota launched the Prius in 2012. It can run on both, petrol and electricity, so the customers get the best of both worlds.

Fun fact: The Prius is the world’s first mass production hybrid car.

Powering the Prius is a 1.8-litre 2ZR-FXE, 4-cylinder, inline, twin-cam petrol engine that puts out 97bhp and 142Nm of torque. It also gets a sealed Ni-MH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) battery, which increases the total power output to 134bhp. The Prius gets 3 modes, namely, EV (Electric Vehicle), Eco, and Power.

As green as the Prius may sound, it does come along with a hefty price tag. There are 2 variants on offer in India – the Z5 and Z6 – and even in city conditions; combined fuel economy stands at 23.91Km/l. The price of the Prius ranges from 38.10 lakhs to 39.80 lakhs.

 

3. Toyota Camry Hybrid

Toyota has another green car up its sleeve – the Camry hybrid. However, if you think you’ve driven the Prius, and this one will be something similar, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Just like the standard Camry, this one gets Toyota’s DOHC VVT-i 2.5-litre petrol unit, but it’s tweaked to accommodate the electric motor. The output tally of the hybrid system stands at 202bhp; 158bhp from the petrol motor, and 44bhp from the electric motor. The power-split device helps deliver seamless power to the wheels, and also to the generator that keeps on charging the battery. The battery is nickel metal hydride, unlike the usual lithium-ion, and is placed under a plastic cover inside the boot.

There are three driving modes to choose from – EV, Eco and Normal. The e-CVT (electronically continuously variable transmission) takes a bit of time to push itself off the starting line, but eventually offers utter smoothness and refinement.

Toyota has generously provided features that make it an ideal chauffeur-driven car. The 3-zone climate control for the driver, front passenger, and rear passengers, cooled front seats, cruise control, powered rear seats that recline, and a rear armrest that houses the controls for the recline functions, all find their way inside the car.

Toyota claims that the Camry Hybrid delivers 19.6Km/l (ARAI figure), which is truly impressive for a car of this size. The Camry hybrid carries a price tag of Rs. 31.19 lakhs.

 

2. Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Hybrid

Known commonly as the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz (Smart Hybrid Vehicle), the vehicle is priced in the range of Rs. 8.23 lakh – Rs. 10.17 lakh. Interestingly, the company the Ciaz’s old diesel range has been replaced by the SHVS-equipped variants.

The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz SHVS gets an integrated starter generator, a larger capacity battery, and start-stop technology that help the vehicle return better mileage. While the old Maruti Ciaz diesel had an ARAI certified mileage of 26.21Km/l, the Ciaz SHVS returns an outstanding 28.09Km/l. This effectively makes the Ciaz SHVS hybrid India’s most fuel-efficient car.

Incorporated with an ISG (Integrated Starter Generator), Suzuki’s new mild hybrid system – SHVS – offers engine power assistance using the motor, and thus achieves efficient power generation. With the help of ISG, the system also provides assistance to the engine start-stop technology that automatically stops the engine during traffic light, and starts when the clutch is released.

 

1. BMW i8

This beauty is just too good to be true. From the time when it was launched in India till date, the i8 holds its ground as one of the most thrilling car to be designed in a futuristic manner.

Under the hood, the i8 comes with a 1.5-litre, inline 3 petrol unit and a 7.1kWh lithium-ion battery. Power from the gasoline engine stands at 228bhp, while the electric motor punches out 129bhp, thus taking the combined tally to a massive 357bhp. In all-electric mode, the BMW i8 boasts of a top-speed of 120Km/h. In Sport mode, the i8 delivers a mid-range acceleration from 80 – 120Km/h in 2.6 seconds. The electronically controlled top-speed stands at 250Km/h.

BMW started the car’s deliveries in August, 2014, and had already managed to sell 1,741 units by December, 2014. Furthermore, the first batch of BMW i8 to arrive in India has already been sold. The car carries a whooping price tag of 2.29 crores.

Evergreen Electric Vehicles

Electric cars are the present and since they’ve come a long way, these cars reminisce the golf cart days. These green cars are finally attracting attention of the global consumers. Companies like Mercedes Benz, BMW, Tesla and various others are getting into the electric car market. The competition is hence on an ever-increasing rise. However, the concerns about the price of these cars are a little disturbing. Here is a list of electric cars that are a sure shot wonder:

9. Focus Electric: Focus happens to have dropped its price tag drastically since 2004. The focus does 105 combined miles per gallon that is equivalent to 76 miles on a full charge. This is a far better option than the other cars that offer just 24 miles per gallon.   The Ford focus is priced at $ 29,170 and can save owners at least $5,500 in fuel costs over a period of five years. It has a post-rebate price under $22,000 before you add in state incentives.

"Ford Focus"
Image Source: phys.org

8. Smart Electric Drive:

Smart EV is certainly a winner in the beauty contest. It also delivers up to 68 miles on full charge and offers 107 combined miles per gallon equivalent, fifth-best on the road. The Smart Electric Drive is priced at $ 25,750 and is currently the only electric vehicle with a convertible option and remains the most affordable model for drivers who want to go green. The operating cost of $0.95 for every 25 miles.

7. Chevy Spark EV:

General Motors introduced the Chevy Spark EV that doubles the somewhat disappointing figures that the Chevy Volt and Cadillac ELR delivered. In comparison to the 38 miles mileage, the Spark EV delivers 82 miles per gallon. In fact,  the Spark EV’s 119 miles per gallon equivalent made it the car with the second-best economy in the United States at 119 MPGe. Pricing dips well below $20,000 after the federal EV tax rebate, while it’s affordable lease of $ 139 per month has made it quite a sensation on the Electric Vehicle market in 2015.

"Chevy"
Image Source: wardsauto.com

6. BMW i3:

When it comes to sustainability, BMW has quite the sustainable production model for an electric vehicle in its small i3, which has an EPA-estimated range of 81 miles and offers the equivalent of 124 miles per gallon, best of any car on the U.S roads. Investing $43,350 after the federal tax rebate and fuel savings, the figure doesn’t seem too high.

"BMW i3 Concept"
Image Source: blog.caranddriver.com

5. Volkswagen e-Golf:

VW’s e-golf is one of the most efficient car’s on the U.S market. The company has been facing a tough time with emission standards and the e-Golf happens to offer some hope of survival. The e-Golf is rated at 116 MPGe. For $35,450, the e-Golf offers 83 miles of range on a full charge. This car is built on the standard  gas consuming Golf platform.

"VW e-Golf"
Image Source: blog.caranddriver.com

4. Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive:

Mercedes did not miss out on such an opportunity as well. The company brought an all-electric vehicle to the party. The car is priced close to the BMW i3, this car offers a slightly smaller look but did not compromise on the luxury. The B-Class Electric Drive is priced at $ 41,450 and has a strong presence in the segment with 87 miles of electric range. With more power than some of the competitors, the B-Class is not quite in the efficiency elite with 84 combined miles per gallon.

mercedesbenz-bclass-electric-drive-5

 

3. Kia Soul:

Kia’s Soul Electric vehicle has been one of the most prominent and significant entry into its segment. This vehicle was launched in 2014 and boasts 93 miles of total range and 120 miles per gallon equivalent in city driving. The base price of the Soul is $33,700, it will make sense for a consumer who want a car for around $ 25,000 after the incentives and happens to be cheaper to operate and own than its gas equivalent.

"Kia Soul"
Image Source: www.kia.co.uk

 2. Nissan Leaf:

Many competing cars rolled out on the open streets, but nobody did it better than the Nissan Leaf. The car made its debut as a $29,010 car and since then, no other brand has surpassed the Leaf’s sales. After all these years, the Leaf still holds a spot as one of the best with 84 miles of range on a full charge. The Leaf boasts an impressive efficiency rating of 114 MPGe.

"Nissan Leaf"
Image Source: www.carbuyer.co.uk

1. Tesla Model S 85D:

Tesla Model S 85D is just phenomenal. There isn’t a better car that does wonders and is more sought after than the Tesla Model S. The Model S will vary depending on the model, but the 85 D is an undisputed king in the entire range. The vehicle rates at 270 miles and considerably more expensive than the pack at $ 85,000, but it’s huge advantage is its cost per mole of electronic range and makes it quite the car even at a lofty price point.

Tesla-model-s

Bottom Line: These were some of the best cars in their range. Keep us posted for more cars that you might find worth the top-list.

Best Electric Cars of 2015

mercedes-benz-sls-amg-electric-drive

The electric car generation is upon us. With the launch of car manufacturers specifically catering to the electric car industry, EVs are becoming increasingly accessible and viable for day to day use. Although fossil fuels may sustain for a few more years, the shift to electric is paramount to a stable future.

While many car makers already offer hybrid car models, few manufacturers produce fully electric vehicles. Many, like the Reva Electric company do not offer many of the creature comforts now considered to be standard among its petrol counterparts. We take a look at some of the best electric cars of 2015 that are currently (or soon to be) on offer.

10. Smart ForTwo:

One of the smallest cars on this list, the Smart ForTwo may seem as impractical as the Mahindra REVA. Better known as the G-Whiz overseas, the Mahindra’s offering abroad may have been a relative success, however, the immense negligence on safety and creature comforts generated a lot of flak from car magazines and TV shows alike. So it holds the 10th position in our list of best electric cars of 2015

Smart ForTwo
Smart ForTwo

Mercedes Benz’s Smart division however, played its cards right. The ForTwo is a nimble city goer and offers a plethora of tech inside.

9. VW e-Up!:

The German car maker’s peppy hatch has been introduced in a greener avatar. The e-Up! is an all electric affordable hatch set to take on the Nissan Leaf and the Peugeot Ion. Despite electric cars having notoriously bad performance numbers, the e-Up! manages to hit the ton in around 14 seconds, quite impressive for a budget electric car. Although rated power is at a measly 55 HP, the electric hatch produces 82 for small sprints; A feature that will come in handy- and it holds the 9th slot in our list of best electric cars of 2015

VW e-Up!
VW e-Up!

8. Fiat 500E:

Fiat’s iconic car for the masses, the 500 has always been a driver’s favorite. Its zippy handling and retro styling helped the little Fiat generate massive numbers all over the world. Introduced in an all electric model, the 500E retains all the driving characteristics and Italian panache that made its petrol powered twin so popular. This little beauty stands at the 8th spot in our list of best electric cars of 2015.

Fiat 500E
Fiat 500E

7. Zoe:

Renault’s entry into the world of EVs hasn’t been too popular. With heavy competition from the its Japanese and German rivals, the Zoe’s late entry into the electric hatchback segment may have been the main reason for the car’s poor sales numbers. Despite this however, the car’s futuristic design and cheap pricing will definitely appeal to many & sits comfortably at the 7th position in our list of best electric cars of 2015.

Renault Zoe
Renault Zoe

6. VW e-Golf:

Although the e-Golf may draw flak from motoring enthusiasts for its departure from its glorious petrol roots, the e-Golf heralds the arrival of electric hot hatches. Despite what some may call small, the nimble 115 HP motor and instant torque makes up for the hatch’s lack of massive triple digit speeds. This cute bast holds the 6th position in our list of best electric cars of 2015.

blue Volkswagen e-Golf front view
The Volkswagen e-Golf hatchback

5. Tesla Model X:

Although still in its concept stages, Tesla has announced that deliveries will commence in early September. The crossover SUV will be the world’s first fully electric SUV on offer. Similar to the car maker’s other models, the Model S and Model D, the Model X will undoubted be one of the best electric cars in the market and yes it holds the 5th position in our list of best electric cars of 2015.

"falcon wing doors on Tesla model X"
The Tesla Model X Concept

4. BMW i8:

The advent of a truly practical hybrid car. the BMW i8 signals the beginning of the next generation of sports cars. Although the i8 does not perfectly fit the bill as a fully electric car, its conception and subsequent launch could not be any more significant to the automotive industry. With the depletion of our oil resources, the change to full electric will be inevitable. However, this transition has in no way been smooth.

front view BMW i8
The BMW i8

The i8 is a truly groundbreaking development in the field of high performance motoring as it offers the convenience of a electric range and the raw power of old school petrol.

 

3. Tesla Model S:

Dubbed a revolutionary product in a time when many believed electric vehicles could never hold a candle to their petrol rivals, the Tesla Model S melded science fiction and horsepower into the most alluring shell an electric car has ever had. The interiors are beautifully minimal with an iPad-esque touch screen infotainment system measuring 17 inches diagonally. The display system replaces conventional knobs and buttons found on other cars and acts as the medium through which the user can control all the car’s settings. 

Tesla red model s
The Tesla Model S

Powering the Model S is a shockingly powerful 416 HP motor that produces 600 Nm of torque. The massive motor allows the Model S to hit the 100kmph mark in 4.6 seconds. Available in rear wheel drive only, Tesla announced that it will offer all variants of the electric sedan with all wheel drive once the more powerful Model D is launched. Despite the impressive stats, the Tesla still manages to provide a mammoth 427 km of range on a single charge and it sits in the 3rd position in our list of best electric cars of 2015.

2. Tesla  Model D:

Tesla’s latest venture, the Model D is a high performance four wheel drive variant of the Model S. Despite identical exteriors, the Model D introduces another game changing element. The first electric car ever to come with autonomous driving systems, the new EV from American car maker Tesla paves the way forward for other manufacturers to embrace change and the future. Powering the new model are a pair of electric motors located on the front and rear axles. While the D retains the original’s 471 HP rear engine, the American car manufacturer has introduced a 221 HP front engine for a whopping total of 691 HP and 931 Nm of torque.

bBlack Tesla model p85d
The Tesla Model P85 D Is Identical To The Less Powerful Model S

Despite all the extra power and four wheel drive, the Model D attains an unbelievable claimed range of 442 km. A number surprisingly greater than the less powerful S.  An interesting feature of Tesla’s autonomous system is that it is also capable of reading road signs and adhering to speed limits specific to particular areas.

Tesla’s Model D and Model S is important for more reasons than just luxury and range. Despite many hurdles, Tesla’s range has shown the world what the future can be. Founder Elon Musk recently announced the release of all its patents to the general public. A move confusing many, Tesla will now allow anyone to use its patents to make electric cars. With profits still down, the American car maker hopes and works for a cleaner and better world. A vision most of society has failed to interpret as anything more than bad planning. And this amazing car holds the 2nd position in our list of best electric cars of 2015.

1. Mercedes Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive:

Another game changer, this time from the ludicrous minds of AMG, the SLS AMG Electric Drive is one of the fastest fully electric cars on the planet. Designed as a test bed, the SLS AMG Electric Drive is a production vehicle intended to explore what was possible in the still nascent world of electric supercars.

 Mercedes Benz SLS Amg ED
The Mercedes Benz SLS Amg ED

The SLS ED houses four separate electric motors located on each wheel that produce 185 HP each for a combined total of a whopping 740 HP. Sadly, unlike Tesla’s models, the green super car from the Germans offers a small range of 193 km, a figure too small to be practical. However, with a zero to hundred time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h, the SLS AMG ED puts many petrol powered speed demons to shame. This stylish and powerful monster holds the top position in our list of best electric cars of 2015.