With an urgent push towards curbing conventional fuel-based mobility in India, premium car makers are not shying away from offering their electric and hybrid models in India. So, here are our top picks of the best electric/best hybrid cars which are currently on sale in India.
While Indian car manufacturers have not been able to implement the electric revolution as effectively as their global counterparts, foreign car brands seem to be on a roll as, over the past few years, they have introduced a number of electric car models to their India line-ups. Also, since fuel costs are touching new highs with each passing day, more Indian customers are opting for electric and hybrid vehicles. Thus, we have compiled a list of our top picks of the best premium electric cars in India, which comprises both all-electric and hybrid vehicles.
Lexus NX (Hybrid)
The NX is the smallest SUV that Lexus sells globally. There are two variants on offer in India - Luxury and F-Sport. The latter features sportier design elements and comes in a choice of bold exterior colours. The NX has features like leather upholstery, a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, a Mark Levinson sound system and a heads-up display as standard. On the power front, the NX sports the same powertrain setup as seen on the ES 300h saloon. This means that a 2.5-litre engine with an electric motor does duty on the NX, which churns out a combined output of 194bhp. The only available gearbox option is a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Lexus claims that the NX 300h can sprint from 0-100km/h in around 9 seconds.
Lexus ES (Hybrid)
Now in its seventh-generation, the new Lexus ES is underpinned by Toyota’s new TNGA platform which makes it longer, lower and wider than the car it replaces. Not just dimensions, the new ES has also changed drastically in the way it looks - it’s a lot edgier than before with a huge Lexus spindle grille dominating its front. The ES 300h features a new fourth-gen hybrid drive which is Euro 6 compliant. It combines a 2.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine with a lighter, more power-dense electric motor to generate a combined system output of 215bhp. Lexus claims an impressive 22.37km/l fuel economy figure for the car.
Volvo XC90 Excellence (Hybrid)
The Volvo XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid, as the same suggests, is headlined by a hybrid powertrain, which incorporates a turbo and supercharged 2.0-litre, in-line four-cylinder petrol engine along with a 65kW electric motor. The hybrid system generates a maximum power output of 401bhp and 640Nm of peak torque. Power transmission duties are carried out by an 8-speed automatic gearbox. However, the manner in which the power is transmitted to the wheels is a bit different. Here, the petrol engine sends power to the front wheels while the electric motor sends the drive to the rear axle – which means the SUV has an AWD configuration.
Lexus LS (Hybrid)
The LS 500h is based on the Lexus Global Architecture – Luxury (GA-L) platform – which it shares with the new LC. The LS 500h features a 3.5-litre V6 dual VVT-i petrol engine, which is paired with two electric motors. The engine and the multi-stage (four stages) hybrid system together are capable of generating a total of 349bhp. The engine comes mated to a 10-speed CVT automatic gearbox. Acceleration from 0–100km/h takes just around 5.4 seconds.
Lexus RX (Hybrid)
The RX 450h uses a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine paired with an electric motor, resulting in a total output of 308bhp. The powertrain is quite impressive with a decent grunt that allows for a 0-100km/h acceleration time of well under 8 seconds. The RX 450h looks fresh and modern thanks to its angular design. And it’s also got some very nice features. The Luxury trim RX model gets navigation, a wireless smartphone charger, 20-inch alloys, and a 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system that sounds absolutely phenomenal. In the F-Sport trim, the car gets a number of sporty touches as well – such as lightened alloy wheels, sports-tuned suspension, a body-kit and sports seats.
BMW i8 (Hybrid)
The BMW i8 is powered by an electric motor up front that produces the equivalent of 131 horsepower at the front wheels, and a 1.5-litre, turbocharged direct-injection, three-cylinder petrol engine just behind the driver that produces 231 horses at the rear wheels. The lithium-ion battery pack resides in the central tunnel, and the battery is charged while on the move by regenerative braking as well as an electric motor that feeds off the petrol engine. Of course, it does also need to be plugged in when stationary – for which it requires just a regular power outlet.