The hybrid powertrain from the City will not find its way to the Elevate.
Despite being based on the same platform as the City, the new Honda Elevate will only come with the 1.5 litre i-VTEC petrol engine and not the strong hybrid powertrain option from the City. Instead, there will be an EV based on the Elevate that ‘will arrive within three years’
- Elevate to be sold with a single petrol engine until EV arrives
- Cost is the primary challenge for a hybrid Elevate
Speaking to Autocar India at the global unveiling of the Elevate, Takuya Tsumura, president and CEO of Honda Cars India, responded in the negative to the hybrid but said “we are concentrating on the BEV which is based on Elevate.”
What’s the challenge with a hybrid Elevate?
The problem for the hybrid Elevate is cost. We had earlier reported that the firm was keen in bringing down the price of the hybrid powertrain by localizing it, but it appears that is still a challenge. The well priced Maruti Grand Vitara and Toyota Hyryder strong hybrid siblings in this segment will also be putting more pressure.
Tsumura also alluded to the fact that the taxation levels do not make hybrids very viable saying, “if I look at the GST it is 5 percent for EV, 45 percent for regular and 43 percent for hybrid, so I personally think hybrids should be at least somewhere in the middle of the two”
Thus, as it stands the Elevate will be offered with only the single petrol unit with a choice, however, of a manual and a CVT automatic. This means Honda will not be able to address all buyers in the segment as diesel still accounts for a sizeable chunk of the Creta and Seltos sales. The strong hybrids – the Grand Vitara and the Hyryder – are also showing a promising start.
Thus, with just a sole petrol engine on offer, pricing will be key to the success of the Elevate in the cutthroat midsize SUV segment which will be revealed closer to the festival season.
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