India must look at multiple technology options, including hybrids, to tackle carbon emissions and not just restrict to electric vehicles, a senior company official of Japanese auto major Toyota said on Friday.
In May, the company announced plans to invest Rs 4,800 crore in Karnataka for local production of powertrain parts and other components of Electric Vehicles (EVs). It is preparing to develop an ecosystem for electrified vehicles in the country as part of its path towards carbon neutrality.
"For India, we should have a diversified way to tackle carbon neutrality, not only BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle), not only A or B or C (technology). We have to tackle with A and B and C," Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) Managing Director Masakazu Yoshimura told PTI in an interview.
To do so, he said, "We need to have a good rich resource of technology backup ... we need good skilled manpower supported by some investments of course, and the government support."
Yoshimura said all stakeholders must get together to decide what is best suited for India.
Considering the size of the country and its diverse industries, he said "each industry in India must also have their own strategy on how to tackle (carbon emissions)."
"Fortunately, we have now a very good government leading us to that diversified manner to tackle the carbon neutrality," Yoshimura said, adding, although Toyota cannot provide all the technologies that suit the ideas that the government has provided, the company has some technologies that's already available in other parts of the world which can be used here.
When asked about the Indian government's push for EVs as compared to other technologies like hybrids, he said, "If India becomes a complete BEV oriented country, we will introduce our BEVs."
Last December, Toyota Motor Corporation had announced plans to launch 30 new BEV models globally by 2030.
"We have BEVs and we can always introduce them (in India)," Yoshimura said.
When asked how soon the company can launch a full EV in India if the need arose, he said, "If it is CBU (Completely Built Unit), we can bring it, maybe, in six months minimum, perhaps, but it will have very less local content."
He further said, "If it is dedicated, uniquely designed for India, it will take two years."
Toyota has been investing significantly to create the ecosystem for EVs and not only just one technology but the entire range of electrified vehicles, whether it's an EV or a strong hybrid. The company's recent announcement of Rs 4,800 crore is towards advanced technologies.
It has also inaugurated one line that will manufacture e-drive, a major component that goes into any electrified technology, whether it's a BEV or a strong hybrid. It is trying to manufacture electrified vehicle powertrain parts in India in order to get to mass electrification.
When asked if Toyota is preparing for a big push towards electrification, Yoshimura said, "We have already prepared Toyota globally and TKM at the Bidadi site in Bangalore ... e-drive production line has already started production and will first start exporting to Japan and we will produce for the locally manufactured vehicles (including the Urban Cruiser Hyryder)."
Stressing on the significance of hybrid vehicles, he said they offer 40-60 per cent better fuel efficiency compared to similar conventional engine vehicles.
"It could immediately reduce the forex usage to buy the crude oil or any oil from Russia. It will save your expenditure as a nation immediately ...," he added.
TKM on Friday forayed into the highly competitive mid-size SUV segment with the unveiling of its latest hybrid model -- Urban Cruiser Hyryder, which is expected to hit the market in the upcoming festive season.
The Hyryder comes with two powertrains -- Neo Drive and Self-charging Strong Hybrid Electric powertrain and will compete with the likes of Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos, among others.
The auto major said it has commenced bookings for the model at its dealerships across the country for an amount of Rs 25,000.