Maruti Suzuki recently launched the Ciaz diesel hybrid SHVS (that's Suzuki-speak forSmart Hybrid Vehicle). This mild hybrid car is claimed to deliver an impressive28.09kmpl fuel efficiency, bettered only by the electric-hybrids in the country today. The homegrown carmakerthough is looking to add more SHVS-equipped models to its range.
The SHVS system consists of a modified battery and an integrated starter motor. Mind you, the battery is just a high capacity unit which helps with storage of energy- energy that will otherwise be lost during the deceleration of the vehicle or while coasting. This energy is then used for acceleration, which the car accomplishes through the integrated starter motor. The integrated starter motor getsidle start-stop tech added to it. When the car is idling in traffic, the system will cut off the engine, only to restart it when the clutch pedal is pressed. A belt drive ensures that the entire operation remains as shudderfree as possible. It is a mild hybrid and hence the engine cannot be propelled ahead based on the potential energy stored in the battery and the ICE has to intervene.
Maruti's existing diesel car portfolio in the country consists of the Ertiga, Swift, Swift Dzire, Celerio, Ciaz and S-Cross. Out of these, apart from the S-Cross and Celerio, all models use the 1.3-litre MultiJet motor. The new Ertiga is rumoured to be equipped with the SHVS tech andother popular models from the manufacturer are also expected to follow suit. When the all-new Swift comesdown to India sometime in 2017, ittoo isexpected to be offered withthe choice of a Boosterjet petrol motor andan SHVS-equipped diesel engine. A range extender hybrid is also on the cards.
Apart from the ecological advantage of theSHVS tech, Maruti will benefit from the subsidies offered by the GoIunderthe FAME schemeforselling an electric vehicle or even a hybrid. The advantage is passed on to the customers too as these cars comeat alower cost or at just a marginal premiumoverthe regular variant.
In the case of the Ciaz, the regular diesel model, which has now been discontinued, wasmoreexpensive than the greener SHVS car. The price difference starts at Rs 8,000 when you compare the base variants, going up to Rs 42,000, for the top-end trim. Add to that,the service procedures for the SHVSare the same as the ones for the regular dieselcar, the warranty is the same for the batteryandit's only8-10kg heavier than the regular car.
The upcoming Dzire facelift is expected to get an AMT along with the SHVS tech.Looks like 30kmpl+ from diesel cars could well be a reality in the near future.