Kia motors to replace diesel cars with strong hybrid petrol cars in India from 2025


A number of automotive experts believe that hybrids are the solution for cleaner vehicles in the future, rather than all-electric vehicles. Recently, the South Korean automaker Kia Motors India has also revealed its interest in launching strong hybrids in the country. It has been revealed by the brand that in the near future, it could introduce a lineup of strong hybrid petrol cars. With these new hybrids, the company is aiming to replace conventional diesel vehicles in the Indian market.

Kia Seltos

Kia’s Hybrid Revolution

While talking to Autocar India, Kia’s Managing Director and CEO, Tae-Jin Park, recently confirmed the company’s active consideration of introducing hybrid technology in India. He revealed that the company is recognizing the growing demand for eco-friendly options in India. He added that for this, Kia is exploring the possibility of replacing diesel vehicles with strong hybrid vehicles. However, despite this, he asserted that they will still be producing diesel vehicles as long as they are allowed. He emphasized that this is because 40 percent of their volume still comes from diesel vehicles.

Does Kia Offer Any Hybrids at the Moment?

It has to be mentioned that although the company currently does not have hybrid vehicles in its India portfolio, it does offer a number of them in the international markets. It is believed that the company will use its hybrid know-how from its international market models and offer it in India. At the moment, no specific technical specifications have been revealed by the South Korean automaker.

Kia to replace diesels with strong hybrid petrol cars in India
Kia e-Niro

Reports have suggested that Kia is currently working on electrifying its existing 1.2-litre and 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engines for the Indian market. Most likely, the company will draw its inspiration from its successful international models. It offers these strong hybrid powertrains which utilize a 1.6-litre direct-injection turbo-petrol engine coupled with an electric motor. Additionally, in order to make this transition economically viable, Kia is focusing on localizing motor components and battery technology as well.

Seltos and Carens Could Be the First Hybrids

It is being speculated that the company’s most popular models, which are the compact SUV Seltos, could be the first model in the lineup to get a strong hybrid powertrain. Later on, it is believed that its premium MPV Carens could also get a hybrid powertrain. Apart from these two existing models, the company could potentially launch a new sub-four-meter model with a strong hybrid powertrain. It is believed that this particular SUV will sit between the Seltos and Sonet.

Taxation Challenges

According to reports, the company is looking forward to the introduction of this new model, despite the challenges posed by higher GST rates for mid-size hybrids in India. As per the reports, Kia’s upcoming compact SUV, equipped with a 1.2-litre hybrid powertrain, could benefit from a lower 28 percent tax bracket for sub-four-meter cars.

Kia to replace diesels with strong hybrid petrol cars in India

This strategic move is being aimed to bridge the price gap between ICE and EV vehicles, which will, in turn, make the hybrid technology-equipped vehicles a more financially attractive option for Indian consumers. Reports have stated that the above-mentioned new sub-four-meter SUV has been codenamed AY by Kia. As for the launch date of this particular SUV, it is scheduled for an early 2025 launch.

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