Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, has announced that the company will invest up to 3,000 crores in India this year. A part of this investment will go towards electrification, Kirloskar confirmed. The company executive suggested that TKM will export the Made in India electrified Toyota cars, which may include self-charging hybrid electric and pure electric models, in an interview with ET Now on Youtube.com.
This year, we are going to be investing between INR 2,000-3,000 crores in new technology, new upgrades, and we’re investing into electrification, which we will sell not only in India but export around the world. So that’s this year. We have just got approvals to go ahead and do that.Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman at Toyota Kirloskar Motor.
In July, it was reported that Toyota Kirloskar Motor could manufacture an HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) in India. Later the same month, Shekar Viswanathan, Vice Chairman and Whole Time Director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, confirmed the plan for manufacturing a Toyota hybrid EV in India.
Speaking to business-standard.com, Viswanathan disclosed details about the affordable Toyota hybrid car project for India. He said that the plan is to start making the whole hybrid powertrain in India. Do note that he was talking about a full hybrid (strong hybrid) powertrain, not a mild-hybrid system like an SHVS.
Viswanathan said that the company had planned to build Toyota’s hybrid powertrains in India before the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. The parent company had announced in March 2019 that it would explore local procurement of HEV systems, engines and batteries. There is no timeline from the company, but we expect the first car to come out in 2022.
Speaking further, the TKM boss hinted that Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts and Toyota Industries Corporation would have a contribution to the manufacturing of the Toyota Hybrid System (THS) in India. Cells for the hybrid car battery should come from TDSG (Toshiba, Denso, Suzuki Gujarat) which is expected to begin production in a few months.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor alone may not have the volumes to make manufacturing of hybrid powertrains in India feasible, but Maruti Suzuki will chip in to help it overcome that hurdle. Toyota has allowed Suzuki to use its hybrid technology, and the latter’s Indian subsidiary has confirmed that an HEV for our market is in the pipeline. Maruti Suzuki has said that a mix of mild-hybrids, hybrids and electric cars would help it meet new CAFE and RDE regulations and perhaps every future Maruti would be electrified to some degree.
TKM and Maruti Suzuki are expected to share a common full hybrid powertrain in larger models. At Maruti Suzuki, the next-gen Ciaz and Ertiga (and perhaps their Toyota-badged counterparts) could be contenders for the more advanced electrified system. At TKM, the next-gen Innova should also get the THS. A report from livemint.com in August 2019 had indicated that an Innova hybrid in the third generation is possible because of the increasingly stringent emission norms in India. The Fortuner is bound to follow as the vehicles share a common platform.
TDSG Automotive Electronics Power Private Limited’s Lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Gujarat, will likely supply the Lithium-ion battery for Toyota’s hybrid powertrain that will be used in the HEVs made by Maruti Suzuki and/or TKM. TDSG is jointly owned by Suzuki, Toshiba and Denso with a stake of 50%, 40% and 10% respectively. The production was scheduled to commence in late-2020 initially, but the COVID-19 outbreak may have caused a short delay.