Mahindra has recently launched a mild hybrid technology in the entire Scorpio line-up equipped with the 2.2-litre mHawk diesel engine. Dubbed as the “Intelli-Hybrid”, the system upgrades the existing ‘Micro-Hybrid’ technology (which is nothing but a Start-Stop system) by added functions of providing electrical assistance to the engine while driving and brake energy recuperation. On reading this, it is clear that the company is constantly inventing more R & D into hybrid technologies thereby improving the fuel efficiency of its diesel engines. One can expect upcoming models like the all-new Innova-rivalling MPV and the next-generation XUV 500 to come equipped with tech in future. The sub-4 metre Bolero that is also on the anvil may get the tech as well, as the existing Bolero comes equipped with the ‘Fuel Smart’ Micro-Hybrid technology. Mahindra is also showing interests on alternative energy technologies, evident from the recently launched eVerito full-electric sedan.
The Intelli-hybrid system works this way. With a larger-capacity battery, the alternator (starter motor) has been given a dual-role of a motor to drive the engine crankshaft at the lower revs and as a regular generator to charge the battery and lighten up the electrical system. This reduces engine loads at lower rpm, there-by reducing fuel consumption considerably. The company claims a spike is fuel efficiency by up to seven per cent, i.e. almost up by 1 kmpl – 16.36kmpl for the 2WD models and 16.20kmpl for the 4WDs. Moreover, the system uses regenerative braking to source additional energy for the powertrain, and also retains the existing Start-Stop tech from the ‘Micro-Hybrid’.
The system is apparently a ‘mild’ hybrid, as the car does not run solely on electric energy unlike the full hybrids. This tech is quite similar to Maruti Suzuki‘s Smart Hybrid Vehicle System (SHVS) used in Ciaz sedan and Ertiga MPV. It is to be noted that the Scorpio S2 trim with the 2.5L m2DICR, Scorpio automatic and the 1.99-litre mHawk variants sold in Delhi-NCR are not fitted with Intelli-hybrid.
But what is even more surprising is that Mahindra did not hike the prices of the car citing added technologies, as the company has been tapping the tax incentive under government schemes such as National Electric Mobility Mission and Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME).
The Intelli-Hybrid system cannot be retrofitted into existing cars. Indian government last month announced that it will allow owners to retrofit aftermarket hybrid electric kits to their cars, but in the first instance, do such kits really exist? Yet, the government seems to have knocked the doors of Bosch and Cummins to develop them, but how far is this gonna prove successful is a million dollar question!