India finally got it’s first hybrid car, the Honda Civic Hybrid, albeit at an exorbitant price tag (in it’s segment) of Rs.21.5 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). India becomes the 33rd country where Honda has launched this car.
The culprit for this steep price is the import duty on a completely built unit (CBU), which is 104 %. The company plans to import this from Japan, although it is also thinking of getting it as a semi-knocked down (SKD) unit, which attracts much lesser import duty. Manufacturing the car outside Japan, however, is not an option the company is looking to consider.
The car has an in-line 4 cylinder 1.3 litre petrol engine and an electric motor. From the time of the start-up and acceleration, both the engine and the motor function together. When the car is being driven at a high speed, the engine works alone, however, and when the car is idling , the petrol engine automatically stops and the battery keeps the vehicle running, saving fuel. When being driven at 40-50 kmph, the car operates only on the battery offering maximum fuel efficiency. The fuel efficiency of Civic Hybrid is in the range of 19-23 kmpl, as compared to 15 kmpl offered by the regular petrol model.