Honda Elevate to skip hybrid and go straight to EV

    The hybrid powertrain from the City will not find its way to the new Elevate SUV.

    Published On Jun 06, 2023 06:34:00 PM


    Honda Elevate engine
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    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".

    1. Elevate to be sold with a single petrol engine until EV arrives
    2. Cost is the primary challenge for a hybrid Elevate

    Speaking to Autocar India at the global unveiling of the Elevate SUV, 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.”

    Also read: Honda Elevate vs rivals: specifications compared

    What’s the challenge with a hybrid Elevate?

    The problem with the hybrid Elevate is cost. We had earlier reported that the firm was keen on bringing down the price of the hybrid powertrain by localising it, but it appears that is still a challenge. The well-priced Maruti Suzuki 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. “If I look at the GST, it is 5 percent for an EV, 45 percent for regular and 43 percent for a hybrid. So I personally think hybrids should be at least somewhere in the middle of the two," he added.

    Thus, as it stands, the Elevate will be offered with only the single petrol unit with a choice 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 Hyryder – are also showing a promising start.

    Thus, with just a sole petrol engine on offer, what will be key to the Elevate's success in the cut-throat midsize SUV segment is pricing, which will be revealed closer to the festive season.

    Also see:

    Honda confirms Elevate EV, five new SUVs by 2030

    Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.


    Samir Rasam - 286 days ago

    Honda should have got the strong-hybrid option in India with Elevate now that more customers are looking for fuel economy as a main criteria. Diesel options from Creta/ Seltos are very good and with a single ICE option, Honda is playing a very weak game here.

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