Honda rolls out India's maiden hybrid car

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New Delhi, Jun 18 (UNI) Premium car maker Honda Siel Cars India today launched the country's first hybrid car 'Civic Hybrid' at a price of Rs 21.50 lakh (ex-showroom).

The hybrid car, which is powered by a 1.3 litre petrol engine and electric motor, is 47 per cent more fuel efficient than a regular 1.8L Civic AT without compromising on driving performance.

''I am proud to unveil Honda's globally acclaimed and popular Civic Hybrid in India in order to showcase our technology to the consumers and make the country environment friendly,'' Honda Siel Cars India Ltd President and CEO Masahiro Takedagawa told reporters here.

He said objective of the company, a joint venture between Japan's Honda Motor Company Ltd and Siel Ltd, is not to get large volumes, but to give an opportunity to Indian consumers to experience this new technology.

India is the 33rd country where Honda has launched its Civic Hybrid.

The hybrid version of the Civic sedan will be imported from Japan as a completely built unit and will be available in two colours -- Premium White Pearl and Alabaster Silver.

Expressing concerns over high import duty of over 100 per cent, Mr Takedagawa expected that the government will bring it down to a level, where it can become affordable to the customers.

The hybrid car that is kitted with a dual engine configuration comprising a petrol and an electric engine compliment each other at different levels of speed during the journey.

At high speeds the petrol engine propels the car and as the car slows the electric motor kicks in acting as a generator that charges the electric battery in the car.

The Civic hybrid that was launched in the US and Japan in 2006 has crossed sales of over 2.62 lakh units globally.

The hybrid car can deactivate all four of its cylinders and operate using only the electric motor in certain steady-state cruising situations.

Honda's most successful global model, the eighth generation Civic was launched in July 2006.

UNI SBA PDT UCS1708

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