Honda City Hybrid Could Be India’s Most Fuel Efficient Car
Come to a showroom near you somewhere in 2022 is the super efficient Honda City Hybrid. The company has confirmed its intention to launch the model here. “We will be launching the hybrid (City) in the next fiscal year,” said Rajesh Goel, senior vice president of Honda Cars India.
Although the Honda City Hybrid has not yet been tested on our roads, we can compare fuel efficiency figures obtained in other markets and come to a rough calculation. The Honda City Hybrid delivers an impressive 27.7 kpl under test conditions in Malaysia (27.8 kpl in Thailand). Expect a similar figure for India, as the two test cycles are very similar.
To get a more realistic picture, however, we have to equate this with some of our real world numbers. For reference, Honda City 1.5 gasoline coupled to a CVT delivers 12 kpl as part of Autocar India’s city test cycle. So equate the City Hybrid and the City running under our cycle and we get a rough real-world figure of between 17 and 19 kpl for the City Hybrid. This could make it one of the most efficient cars in India.
The City Hybrid will likely be the first well-specified “mainstream” hybrid to go on sale in India. Capable of providing a big leap in fuel economy, it is a fuel saving device par excellence.
It is called Sport Hybrid because it is both efficient and fast.
The system consists of a 1.5-liter gasoline engine that performs a more efficient “Atkinson cycle”. The power of the combustion engine is 98 hp. An additional 109 hp comes from the electric motors. Maximum combined horsepower (although not specified) is not the sum of the two. The maximum torque, however, is mentioned, standing at 253 Nm, although the motor is 127 Nm and the electric motor 253 Nm. The increase in overall power makes it a good half a second faster at 100 km / h. than the regular 1.5 City.
Like all hybrids, the City saves energy by decelerating and returning otherwise wasted energy through an electric generator. In the City Hybrid, a large pancake-type electric generator and electric motor are sandwiched and attached to the end of the motor. When the engine spins the generator, it also powers the electric motor, which in turn spins the wheels and / or sends electricity to the lithium-ion battery in the trunk.
To increase efficiency levels, Honda ditched the drivetrain altogether and also disconnected the motor from the wheels. Thus, the wheels can go at one speed and the motor at another, when the battery needs to be recharged.
There is no gearbox and the wheels are not connected to the engine at all.
What the car has also been programmed to do is keep the engine at peak efficiency, somewhere around 2,000 rpm. This is important because by the time the engine reaches 4000 rpm, it could use twice as much fuel.
Interestingly, 95% of the energy saved as electricity in a hybrid is redeployed to the wheels. In contrast, even the most efficient gasoline engines achieve only 40 percent efficiency.
The Honda City Hybrid, with its additional equipment, weighs around 110 kg more than the regular City. To accommodate the large battery in the trunk, there is no spare tire, just a repair kit. And the trunk capacity has increased from 506 liters to 410. Honda in India, however, would do well to provide space saving, especially considering how often the tires suffer side cuts under our conditions.
Since the City Hybrid also has 160% more torque, Honda also fitted it with rear disc brakes. And on the hybrid, you get an electric parking brake. Like most hybrids with a battery in the trunk, there is also a battery vent between the right rear door and the backrest.
Will customers be willing to pay around Rs 20 lakh for a city?
The Honda City Hybrid in markets like Thailand and Malaysia is also sold in a sporty RS finish, and maybe that’s what Honda is doing here too. This could make it more upscale and justify the higher price. The RS in these markets also has security systems based on ADAS radar and a remote engine start, which you can operate from the remote control.
The Honda City Hybrid will certainly be more expensive. While the car will be assembled in India, many of the components that make up the hybrid system will be imported, resulting in higher tariffs and taxes as a result. With premium Honda City gasoline selling for around Rs 15 lakh, expect the price of the hybrid to be between Rs 17.5 and 19 lakh, depending on specs and additional equipment loaded on the car. car. The question is, will the City Hybrid be efficient enough to make up for the price difference? And will customers be ready to sign on the dotted line for a nearly 20 lakh Honda City?
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