MUMBAI, 22 August 2023: Renault India’s commitment to environmentally friendly mobility takes a significant leap forward as the company announces its plan to introduce strong-hybrid powertrains in its upcoming cars. This move aligns with the brand’s dedication to delivering cleaner, greener, and more efficient vehicles to the Indian market.
Localizing Strong Hybrids for Enhanced Competitiveness
Renault India is all set to revolutionize the automotive landscape by incorporating strong-hybrid powertrains into its vehicle lineup. This transition comes as a response to the phasing out of the highly efficient diesel engines that were once a hallmark of the company. The strong hybrids, characterized by their impressive torque and efficiency, are poised to fill this gap and offer a sustainable alternative.
A key strategy employed by Renault is the localization of its strong-hybrid powertrains. Building on the success of locally produced models like the Kwid, Triber, and Kiger, the brand aims to replicate this approach with its hybrid offerings. By embracing localization, company strives to enhance its products’ competitiveness while contributing to India’s evolving automotive ecosystem.
Expanding the Portfolio: Strong and Plug-In Hybrids
Renault’s commitment to diversifying its portfolio remains unwavering. Venkatram Mamillapalle, MD of Renault India, outlines the brand’s future plans, which encompass a range of propulsion technologies. In addition to strong hybrids, the company is gearing up to introduce plug-in hybrid variants. This forward-thinking approach ensures that its offerings cater to the diverse preferences of Indian consumers.
While the adoption of plug-in hybrids is currently hindered by cost considerations, Renault is determined to explore their potential. Despite their higher cost as both electric and internal combustion engine-powered vehicles, company acknowledges the long-term benefits. The brand’s innovative solution lies in localizing the production of these hybrids, effectively addressing cost challenges and fostering market competitiveness.
Renault’s Hybrid Vision: A Significant Industry Shift
Renault’s decision to embrace hybrid powertrains reflects a transformative shift in the Indian automotive industry. This landmark move places the company alongside industry giants Toyota and Maruti Suzuki as the third carmaker to commit to strong hybrids. Honda‘s presence with the City strong-hybrid version adds further weight to this trend. However, the adoption of hybrids among Indian and Korean manufacturers remains limited in contrast to their focus on electric vehicles.
The Role of Strong Hybrids: Aiming for Fuel Efficiency
Renault’s venture into hybrid technology coincides with the successful market penetration of strong-hybrid offerings by Maruti Suzuki and Toyota. Notably, the remarkable increase in fuel economy has been a pivotal factor driving the demand for these hybrids. This consumer response underscores the viability and relevance of hybrid technology in the Indian market.
Renault’s Strong Hybrid Technology: Power and Efficiency Combined
Renault’s strong hybrids, part of the E-Tech range, epitomize the brand’s commitment to performance and sustainability. Two primary powertrains, generating 145hp and 160hp, are integral to this technology. Derived from Renault’s Formula 1 program and fortified by over 160 patents, these powertrains utilize both series and parallel architectures.
The 145hp variant combines a 49hp electric motor with a 24hp high-voltage starter generator, complementing a 4-cylinder, 1.6-liter, 94hp petrol engine. This setup enables impressive fuel efficiency, with the potential to deliver up to 24 kilometers per liter under normal driving conditions. The full-hybrid powertrain is capable of optimizing energy efficiency by blending input from the internal combustion engine and electric motor in 14 distinct ways. This design results in up to 40 percent reduced consumption compared to conventional petrol engines.
The 160hp E-Tech, classified as a plug-in hybrid, boasts a larger 9.8kWh battery and two electric motors. This robust configuration, coupled with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, positions the 160hp E-Tech as a candidate for Renault’s forthcoming models like the Duster or Bigster. The incorporation of a more efficient Atkinson cycle for certain versions contributes to lowered fuel consumption.
Renault India’s strategic shift towards strong-hybrid technology represents a pivotal moment in the country’s automotive industry. By combining performance, efficiency, and localization, Renault is poised to set new standards for cleaner mobility. As the market evolves, Renault’s commitment to hybrid powertrains offers a glimpse into a future where sustainable transportation takes center stage.