Hybrid technology has been around for decades in the automotive industry. Applications in today’s vehicles range from evolving hybrid technologies that offer limited electrical assistance to self-charging hybrids and plug-in hybrids that allow owners to drive their car or SUV for limited distances on electricity alone. Here we only consider the latter two hybrids to see what hybrids are currently on sale in the Indian market.

Honda City e:HEV Hybrid

Image credit: Honda

Priced at Rs 1.95 lakh (ex-showroom), the Honda City e:HEV is the most affordable petrol-electric hybrid sedan you can buy in India. The sedan is Honda’s third hybrid car to come to India following the hybrid iterations of the Accord and Civic over the past few years. Honda’s system uses an onboard battery and two electric motors paired with a gasoline engine to power the front wheels. The system is capable of operating in pure EV mode for short-distance traffic, with the engine acting as a range extender in hybrid mode, powering the electric motor and charging the battery. The City e:HEV also has a third drive mode, where the engine powers the wheels directly.

Toyota Camry Hybrid

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Think hybrids, and the Camry is likely the first car you think of. The Camry Hybrid has been on sale for multiple generations, and the current sedan is only offered as a hybrid. The Camry combines a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine with a permanent magnet electric motor to produce a total of 215 horsepower. The electric motor is paired with a 245V battery, allowing owners to travel a limited distance in pure EV mode, while the gasoline engine kicks in when speeds climb or the battery runs out. The Camry Hybrid is priced at Rs 4.345 lakh (ex-showroom).

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Lexus ES Hybrid

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Toyota’s luxury arm, Lexus, is also so good at hybrid technology that almost its entire model lineup in India is equipped with a hybrid setup. A sister model to the Camry, the ES essentially uses the same hybrid setup as the Camry, with an electric powertrain that allows all EVs to operate at low speeds and alternate between gasoline and electric at higher speeds to improve economy, helping to reduce fuel consumption.

Lexus NX Hybrid

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The NX is Lexus’ smallest SUV in the Indian market and starts at Rs 6.49 lakh. Like most of Lexus’ lineup, it’s only available with a hybrid system, pairing a 2.5-liter gasoline engine with two electric motors (one on the rear axle), giving it an all-wheel-drive layout.

Toyota Vellfire Hybrid

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Priced at Rs 9.08 lakh (ex-showroom), the Vellfire is the most Toyota hybrid sold in the country. High-end MPVs are designed to compete with the likes of the Mercedes V-Class, for which Toyota only offers hybrid technology. Like the Camry, the Vellfire uses a 2.5-liter gasoline engine, and while the Camry only has one electric motor, the Vellfire uses two to give it a pseudo-all-wheel-drive layout. One electric motor works with the engine and the second is mounted on the rear axle.

Volvo XC90 Charging PHEV

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Image source: www.volvocars.com

Volvo’s flagship SUV in India is available with petrol or petrol hybrid powertrains. The T8 twin-engine unit pairs the company’s 2.0-liter petrol engine with a rear-axle-mounted electric motor and integrated starter-generator. Unlike the self-charging hybrids above, the XC90 is a plug-in hybrid, which means its battery pack can be charged from an external power source when it runs out. Like other hybrids, the XC90 Recharge also allows owners to drive in electric-only mode at city speeds, with the engine kicking in as the speed increases or the battery pack runs out of charge.

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Lexus RX Hybrid

Lexus rx 350l and rx 450hl side view

Currently sold in a long-wheelbase body style, the RX follows an SUV coupe design with the flexibility of a third-row seat. While the Rs 111 crore (ex-showroom) SUV is pricey, the RX is packed with technology and comes with a 3.0-liter V6 and two electric motors to drive the wheels. The engine and front electric motor are the main drive units, and the rear axle-mounted unit is activated when the situation calls for it. Lexus recently revealed an all-new generation of the RX in the global market.

BMW 7 Series 745Le

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As one of the most hybrids you can buy right now, the current 7-Series has an option for a plug-in hybrid powertrain priced at Rs 1.75 crore (ex-showroom). The 745Le comes standard with xDrive all-wheel drive, paired with BMW’s familiar 3.0- six-cylinder turbo petrol engine, electric motor and 10.4kWh battery pack. Total system output is rated at 389 bhp and 600Nm. BMW claims the 745Le has an all-electric range of up to 50km on a full charge, and can reach speeds of 140km/h on EV power alone.

Lexus LS500h Hybrid

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Lexus’ flagship sedan is one of the most hybrids on the market right now, starting at close to Rs 1.91 crore (ex-showroom). The LS is also available with a hybrid-only setup, pairing a V6 petrol engine with an electric motor to produce a total of 354 horsepower. The LS also guarantees cabin comfort with an extensive feature list. The LS is a CBU and is the closest direct competitor to the BMW 745Le.

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Lexus LC500h Hybrid

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While many sports cars are only now electrifying, Lexus has long offered the LC coupe a cross-market hybrid powertrain option. For Indi, the LC remains a hybrid, only pairing a V6 petrol engine with a 132kW electric motor to produce a combined 354 bhp.

Notes

While these are hybrids officially launched in India, Land Rover has started bookings for the Defender plug-in hybrid in India since late last year, although the SUV has yet to be launched. The company has also listed the new Range Rover plug-in hybrid on its website and price list, though it hasn’t been officially announced.

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