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Suzuki, Honda, Kia: New Hybrids for Pakistan

Jawad  25 Jun 2024   144
Suzuki, Honda, Kia: New Hybrids for Pakistan

Suzuki, Honda, Kia: New Hybrids for Pakistan

The Ministry of Industries and Production voiced opposition to a new HEV tax policy, submitting their concerns to the Finance Division and FBR. They highlighted ongoing and planned investments by companies like Honda, Suzuki, and Kia in hybrid technology in Pakistan. The notice indicated these companies are gearing up to introduce new hybrid models or variants under their CKD lineup, reflecting a strategic move towards hybridization in the country's automotive sector.

Hybrid technology and Suzuki haven't historically been closely linked, but combining them could yield impressive results given Suzuki's reputation for fuel-efficient cars like Alto, WagonR, and Cultus. Our estimate suggests Suzuki might introduce the hybrid system in these models, starting with the Suzuki Alto ENE Charge (mild-hybrid). The Japanese market already uses this technology in mass-produced models, including the Suzuki WagonR, Stingray, and Alto JDM. Key features of the Alto ENE Charge include a 660cc engine, 52 HP power, a mild-hybrid battery, and a 35 km/l fuel economy.

Unlike Suzuki, Honda currently lacks CKD HEV models. However, if Honda decides to launch an HEV model or variant, the most likely candidate is the Vezel Hybrid. Internationally known as the HR-V hybrid, it’s already being sold under the Vezel badge. Honda Pakistan's previous lack of HEV infrastructure led them to introduce the non-hybrid HR-V. With potential infrastructure developments underway, the HR-V hybrid, likely branded as Vezel, could be their first HEV introduction. The Vezel Hybrid features include a 1.5L i-Vtec engine, 150 BHP power, 155 Nm torque, and a 5 Ah HEV battery capacity.

Rumors have circulated for months that Kia will soon introduce the fifth generation of Sportage to Pakistan, replacing the current fourth generation by the end of 2024. The new Sportage will come with a hybrid option, likely the first hybrid model introduced as Kia invests in hybrid infrastructure. Salient features of the Sportage HEV include a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, 227 HP power, 196 Nm torque, and a 13.8-kWh hybrid battery capacity. Another potential HEV from Kia could be the Sorento Hybrid, given the Pakistani market’s sensitivity towards fuel economy. The Sorento HEV, available internationally, features a 1.6L Turbo engine, 227 HP power, 258 Nm torque, and a 6 Ah HEV battery capacity.

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