Maruti Suzuki sells over 40,000 Ciaz and Ertiga SHVS models
Maruti Suzuki sold over 40,000 Ciaz and Ertiga SHVS modelsPR Handout

Encouraged by the positive response to Ertiga and Ciaz hybrid, Maruti and its Japanese parent company Suzuki is now working to develop low-cost hybrid tech for its compact cars. The company is reportedly planning to become the leader in low-cost eco-friendly cars to strengthen its numero uno position in Indian passenger vehicle industry.

"In India it makes sense for hybrid technology for the smaller car because today globally there is no hybrid technology for small cars or low-cost car and that I think is needs to be developed. We, Maruti and Suzuki, are working on it," said R C Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki reports ET auto.

Though the company has not set a time frame for small cars with hybrid tech, it is quite possible such cars entering market in 2017. The automaker currently offers SHVS mild-hybrid technology in Ertiga MPV and premium sedan Ciaz. SHVS mild-hybrid is on an outright hybrid tech that uses power from forced induction engine and another power source but it is relatively cost efficient and enhances car's fuel efficiency.

Maruti Suzuki's new SHVS system works on the principle of using energy while slowing down to recharge the battery. Kinetic energy, while slowing down, is converted to electricity and stored in the lithium ion battery. The potential energy stored in the battery will reduce the load on the engine by providing momentum. Combined with the idle stop/start system and integrated starter motor, the car will return increased fuel efficiency.

Another advantage of the SHVS unit is that it makes the car qualify to get subsidy under the Central government's FAME initiative for electric and hybrid cars. This helped both Maruti Suzuki cars to price competitively over its rivals. In fact, Maruti Suzuki reduced the price of Ertiga diesel when it received hybrid tech.

Scaled down version of the same tech is what expected in the smaller cars from Maruti Suzuki.