Despite the high duty attracted by hybrids under GST, Mahindra is pursuing the development of a new 48V system mild-hybrid system that is considerably more powerful than the 12V mild-hybrid systems currently used in some of its SUVs.
Responding to an Autocar India question on the fate of full-hybrid technology, the company's managing director, Pawan Goenka, said, “Mahindra is working on 48V mild-hybrid technology, and will continue to do so in order to be ready with a product using this technology. Launching this product though would depend on whether there is a re-think on the taxes for hybrids. Otherwise it will be difficult to justify the launch of such a vehicle in India.”
With the taxes on hybrids not likely to be reduced anytime soon, it is highly possible that Mahindra could be developing the same for export models.
Currently available on cars in Europe, a 48V hybrid system makes use of an additional battery unit and starter-generator to convert braking energy into electricity. This energy, which is stored in the battery, can then be used for boosting engine performance as well as for powering a large number of the vehicle’s electric systems like the radiator fan, water pumps and electric power steering racks. Other benefits also include better performance and higher fuel efficiency.