Honda’s super-efficient City Hybrid will arrive in a showroom near you sometime in 2022. The company recently confirmed that it will launch the model in this country. Rajesh Goel, Senior Vice-President, Honda Cars India stated that the company will be launching the (City) hybrid in the next fiscal year.
The official added that although Honda City Hybrids haven’t been tested on the Indian roads yet, the company can equate fuel-efficiency figures obtained in other markets, and arrive at a rough estimate. Under test conditions in Malaysia, the Honda City Hybrid managed a fuel efficiency of 27.7kmpl (27.8kmpl in Thailand). The official also added that they expect a similar figure for India since both test cycles are identical.
Mr Goel also said that Honda has to equate these figures with some of the real-life examples to arrive at a more realistic picture. According to India’s city test cycle, the Honda City 1.5 petrol, which is mated to a CVT gearbox, delivers 12kmpl. Therefore, if Honda were to equate the City Hybrid with the City running under our cycling model, they would get an approximate real-world figure for the City Hybrid of 17 to 19 kmpl. With this technology, the car could be among the most efficient vehicles in India.
In India, City Hybrid is likely to be the first hybrid vehicle built with a mass market in mind. It’s a fuel-saving device of the highest order because it can deliver big gains in fuel economy.
A 1.5-litre Atkinson-cycle petrol engine generates 98 horsepower. The combustion engine runs on petrol instead of diesel. In addition, the electric motors produce 109 horsepower. The maximum combined power (although it isn’t specified) is not the total of the two. Nonetheless, the maximum torque is cited as 253Nm, even though the motor makes 127Nm and the engine makes 253Nm. Overall, power increase makes it faster to 100kmph by about half a second.
Hybrid vehicles save energy when decelerating and by re-directing otherwise wasted energy to an electric generator. Electric generators and motors are sandwiched together in the City Hybrid and mounted on the engine’s end. By turning the generator, the engine also powers the electric motor, which spins the wheels or sends electricity to the lithium-ion battery in the boot.
Honda has therefore done away with the transmission altogether, as well as the connection between the engine and the wheels. Therefore, the wheels can move at one speed while the motor moves at another while charging a battery.
In addition, the car is programmed to keep it at its optimal speed, somewhere around 2,000 rpm. At 4,000rpm, an engine may use twice as much fuel as it does at 2,000rpm. A hybrid vehicle conserves 95 percent of its electric power by re-deploying it to its wheels. Despite the fact that petrol engines are more efficient, they only manage to achieve 40 percent efficiency.
A Honda City Hybrid weighs roughly 110 kilograms more than its regular counterpart due to its extra hardware. The boot doesn’t have a spare tyre to make room for the large battery. There is also a decrease in boot capacity from 506 litres to 410 litres. Honda should consider providing a space saver in India since our roads often lead to sidewall cuts.
Honda has also equipped the City Hybrid with rear disc brakes, which are 160 percent more powerful than the front discs. The hybrid vehicle also has an electric parking brake. A battery vent can also be found between the right rear door and the backrest, as in most hybrids with a battery in the boot.
In Asian countries like Thailand and Malaysia, Honda City Hybrids are also sold in sporty RS trim, and Honda may do the same here. A more upmarket appearance could justify the higher price. In addition to ADAS radar-based safety systems, the RS in these markets has a remote engine start via a key fob.
Honda’s City Hybrid will cost more than the Honda Civic Hybrid. However, many of the hybrid system’s components will be imported, attracting duties and associated higher taxes. According to estimates, the hybrid Honda City will cost between Rs 17.5 lakh and Rs 19 lakh, on the whole, depending on the car’s spec and extra equipment.