Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) said it will rely on hybrid technology to meet new emission and fuel economy norms in India which are expected to come into effect between 2017 and 2020.
N Raja, senior vice-president (sales & marketing) and director, TKM said that as far as Corporate Average Fuel Consumption (CAFC) and emission (Bharat Stage VI) norms are concerned, there has to be more focus on hybrids.
He added that pure hybrids address environmental concerns and help cut down fuel consumption with added benefit of not requiring the charging infrastructure needed for full-electric vehicles.
Toyota in India offers hybrids in its sedans Camry and Prius is looking to strengthen its play in this category with more vehicles.
However, given the current cost structure, localisation would be necessary to make future vehicles more cost-effective.
Raja further said that Toyota has fuel-cell technology as well but infrastructure is a challenge in offering such vehicles in India. Toyota has sold more than nine million hybrids worldwide and has a portfolio of 30 hybrid vehicles.
He said that strong hybrids are expensive and government support is required to promote the use of these vehicles and localisation also has to happen to make it more attractive.
The government is driving in CAFC standards for the entire automobile industry next year and the norms will cover petrol, diesel and gas.
The standards will apply to all imported vehicles and it stipulates the consumption of fuel based on the total numbers of vehicles produced and not models of cars.
The first stage of new standards will come into effect in India from 2017. Cars, vans and utility vehicles which come under the passenger vehicles currently run for about 16km on a litre of fuel. However, as per the new norms, it has been set at 18.2km by 2016-17 and 22km by 2021-22.
The government in a bid to curb pollution from vehicles, it has been mandated that automakers upgrade their vehicles to BS VI norms by 2020.