Maruti Suzuki, India's leading automaker, provided two unique green concept vehicles for use at the recent Commonwealth Games. One, the SX4 Hybrid, was first unveiled in January at the Auto Expo in New Delhi. This is a full parallel hybrid sedan that employs lithium-ion battery technology, a 1.2-liter gasoline engine, an automated manual transmission and a 50 kW electric motor. The combined package allows the SX4 Hybrid to travel under electric power alone and boast a 25-percent improvement over the conventional gasoline model.

Maruti Suzuki also unveiled its Eeco Charge electric concept. This vehicle, based on the standard Eeco MPV platform, is powered by a 50 kW motor and a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery. Driving range is listed at a reasonable 61 miles and speed for the people mover tops out at 62 miles per hour. The li-ion pack is placed under the load floor, which retains the vehicle's ample storage space. Both concepts are derived from currently available vehicles and could be thrown into the company's production schedule soon. Hit the jump for more on Maruti Suzuki's green concept vehicles.

[Source: Maruti Suzuki]

PRESS RELEASE

Maruti Suzuki unveils SX4 Hybrid and Eeco Charge Electric concepts for demonstration


New Delhi, September 28, 2010
Embracing green-technologies for a green world...

India's car market leader Maruti Suzuki today handed over first lot of Two Maruti Suzuki SX4 Hybrid cars and One 'Eeco Charge' to Mr Arvinder Singh Lovely, Hon'ble Minister of Transport for NCT Delhi. The vehicles intended for use at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, were handed over by Mr. Shinzo Nakanishi, Managing Director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India Limited, in the city.

Maruti Suzuki has made ready a lot of 14 future technology vehicles for the use at Commonwealth Games. These include 10 Maruti Suzuki SX4 Hybrid Cars and 4 Maruti Suzuki 'Eeco Charge' vehicles. The balance vehicles will be handed over to the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee for use by the Officials during the Commonwealth Games.

On the occasion Mr. Shinzo Nakanishi said, "I am happy that engineers at Maruti Suzuki have developed these future technology vehicles. This project has helped our engineers to increase their knowledge and enhance their R&D capability. We are grateful to the Government for their leadership to promote green technology in automobiles. Maruti Suzuki is happy to be associated with the Commonwealth Games national initiative, through these vehicles."

Maruti Suzuki has developed the SX4 Hybrid vehicles and 'Eeco Charge' concept vehicles as a part of the demonstration fleet. The demonstration of the fleet of SX4 Hybrids and 'Eeco Charge' vehicles at the Commonwealth Games 2010, is in line with the ambitious NHPP and MNRE program outline.

SX4 Hybrid and 'Eeco Charge' concept development has been taken up by Maruti Suzuki as a part of the Government initiated and SIAM coordinated NHPP & MNRE National Hybrid Propulsion Program (NHPP) and the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy Sources (MNRE)'s High Energy Density Battery Development Program.

Capability building @ Maruti Suzuki

The development of Hybrid and Electric vehicles is one of the exciting initiatives undertaken by Maruti Suzuki to enhance its R&D capabilities and gear itself for greener technologies. Through this exercise Maruti Suzuki is keen to expand its learning's on green technologies that put minimal stress on non-renewable energy. A team of 25 Maruti Suzuki engineers worked on this project with global hybrid technology and component suppliers.

These future technology vehicles by Maruti Suzuki demonstrate how eco-friendliness and personal mobility can be packaged together as an exciting product. These concepts have been developed by a team of Maruti Suzuki engineers and were showcased at Delhi Auto Expo 2010.

'SX4 Hybrid'

SX4 Hybrid is a Full Parallel Hybrid with Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) on a sedan platform. SX4 Hybrid presents a case of evolution of transportation system with elements of flexibility, style and eco-friendliness. SX4 Hybrid offers mobility solution in an eco-friendly yet stylish manner.

The hybrid system used in the SX4 Hybrid features an electric motor and twin clutch arrangement with advance Lithium-ion battery technology. This concept combines a 1.2 litre K-series petrol engine and a 50 kW electric motor along with 5-speed Automated Manual Transmission. Together, these provide high fuel economy with lower emissions. The SX4 Hybrid is also capable of running solely on its electric motor, offering a further boost to fuel efficiency and zero emission modes in city driving. The SX4 hybrid offers 25 per cent more fuel efficiency compared to conventional gasoline vehicle.

'EECO Charge'

'Eeco Charge' is a zero-emission, pure electric vehicle developed on a MPV platform. It is powered by a 50kW motor and a 24kWh Lithium-ion battery. On full charge it promises a driving range of around 100km and attains top speed of 100 km per hour. The 'Eeco Charge' also has the 'Sport Mode' for acceleration enthusiast. The battery for 'Eeco Charge' has been packaged under floor for better drivability and retaining ample boot space. The real time display of State of Charge and 'Distance to Empty' addresses user's anxiety. The 'Eeco Charge' can be charged using household power source.

About NHPP and MNRE

The National Hybrid Propulsion Programme (NHPP) is an initiative of the Government of India. It is a public-private partnership initiative and India's first in hybrid technology; being jointly funded by Govt. of India and Indian Automotive OEM's. NHPP is expected to develop awareness and generate interest in the Indian automobile market to the world of hybrids.

Considering the importance of battery technology for successful EV/HEV development, MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable energy) has initiated a program on high energy density battery. The objective of this joint program, funded by Govt. of India & automotive OEM's, is to carry out the local development of high energy Li-ion battery packs by battery manufactures for pure electric/ hybrid electric vehicles.

Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has formed a core group of OEM's to take these projects forward. In this initiative SIAM functions as a nodal agency for OEM's, component manufacturers and Government of India. In line with Phase I of the project, OEM's are to showcase their Hybrid and Electric vehicles during Commonwealth Games 2010.

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