As more people are becoming aware of the demerits of conventional fuel-based mobility, there is a growing demand for hybrid and electric cars in India. As a result, more car makers are entering the electric vehicles segment. So, here are our top picks of the best electric/best hybrid cars in India which are currently on sale.
Over the years, countries all around the world have been tightening the noose around the use of conventional fuels for mobility. So, it seems only natural to look for other forms and sources of energy to power our vehicles, which are only increasing in number. So far, in India, the shift has taken place from conventional petrol and diesel to CNG and LPG powered vehicles. However, unlike the global scene, our acceptance of hybrid and electric vehicles is still quite low. Despite this trend, car makers in India have not given up and are progressively adding hybrid and electric car models to their India line-ups. So, we have compiled a list of our top picks of the best electric cars in India from the affordable range, which comprises both all-electric and hybrid vehicles.
The all-electric Mahindra Verito was first showcased at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo. Thanks to all of the benefits offered by the Government of India on hybrid and electric cars under its FAME initiative, the electric Mahindra eVerito is priced rather attractively with prices starting at ₹ 8.76 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). This electric car is powered by an electric motor hooked to a 72V lithium-ion battery pack that offers a maximum driving range of 110 km and a top speed of 86 km/h. Mahindra states that it costs ₹ 1.15 per km to run the eVerito (considering the rate of electricity being ₹ 7 per unit) as it takes 18 units of electricity to fully charge the battery pack. The Mahindra eVerito can be charged at home via a 15A power socket and requires a claimed 8 hours and 45 minutes to fully charge the battery pack. A fast charge option is also available that can fully charge the battery pack in 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Mahindra e2o Plus
The e2o Plus is by far the smallest indigenous electric car available in India. It features a 48V battery pack as standard and a 72V option on the top-spec P8 trim. This gives the e2o Plus a range of 110 kilometres for the 48V variant and 140 kilometres for the higher P8 variant. The more powerful version has a 0-60km/h acceleration time of just 9.5 seconds, thanks to a direct-drive transmission that comes as standard on the e2o Plus. Mahindra claims that the most powerful P8 variant can record a top speed of 85km/h. The 48V battery fitted version has an electric motor that generates 19kW of power and 70Nm of torque. The more punchy, 72V version, churns out 30kW and 91Nm of torque.
Maruti Ciaz SHVS
The Maruti Ciaz SHVS has a start-stop system, which cuts the engine when the car comes to a halt and kicks things off once again when the clutch lever is depressed. Also, there’s the torque assist function where energy regenerated in the high capacity battery assists the torque function of the sedan. The battery receives its charge to carry out these duties by energy regenerated through engine braking. However, the SHVS functions work more along the lines of Mahindra’s micro-hybrid system, and cannot be compared to the full-fledged tech found in the Camry Hybrid. Interestingly, Ciaz is the only hybrid car in India which features hybrid technology with a diesel engine.
The Toyota Camry is powered by a 2.5-litre, 159bhp petrol engine, assisted by a 141bhp electric motor. It has a total power of 202bhp – not 300 because both the motor and the engine don’t hit maximum output at the same time. It is still a very smooth car, with linear acceleration that can also be quite quick thanks to the instant torque of the electric motor. The Camry comes in two driving modes – Eco and EV. The Eco mode is when it’s on hybrid power. The acceleration is smooth and the CVT gearbox ensures that there’s enough punch in the engine at all times to ensure that the driving experience remains seamless. The EV mode is all about the 1.6 Ah nickel-metal-hydride battery that enables the Camry to combat stop-and-go traffic by being a pollution-free car – as it can run for a couple of kilometres under 40km/h purely under electric power.
Honda Accord Hybrid
As the name suggests, the latest version of Honda’s flagship sedan – the Accord – is propelled by a hybrid powertrain. The 2.0-litre Atkinson cycle petrol motor makes 143bhp and 175Nm of torque and it works in conjunction with two electric motors. Of these, the propulsion motor drives the wheels and the generator produces electricity. All combined, the hybrid system develops 212bhp. Transmission duties are carried out by an E-CVT automatic gearbox. When you get off the line, the car is in a very silent EV mode but as you gain speed, it shifts to Hybrid powertrain and when going fast the car automatically shifts to pure petrol power.
In its latest avatar, the Prius has decided to become more exciting and sportier than ever before. That said, every component is new under the skin as the fourth-gen Prius is based on the firm’s all-new TNGA platform. As a result, it’s much lighter now but also 61mm longer, 15mm wider and 20mm lower than the third-gen Prius. The Prius is propelled by a 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that develops 95bhp and 142Nm of torque. The engine is coupled to a 53kW electric motor, which means the system develops 121bhp in total. Power is sent to front wheels via an E-CVT automatic gearbox. As per Toyota, the new Prius is capable of returning a fuel-efficiency figure of 26.27km/l.