PC push may rev up green cars

P Chidambaram's push for hybrid cars may not see an immediate splash of green cars on the roads, but it would certainly encourage more companies to seriously look at the segment. Hybrids, that alternate between a fuel and a battery to power your vehicle, have received a special focus from FM, who prefers cars that are less taxing on environment. He has cut excise duty for hybrids cars by 10%, bringing it down to 14%, giving a big incentive for companies to look at the option. This move will benefit Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), which will introduce hybrid versions of Scorpio and Bolero by June. And, prices may be cheaper than the existing petrol or diesel versions. "The duty cut will certainly boost work on hybrid vehicles,' said Arun Jaura, senior V-P. While Honda is close to launching a hybrid version of its sedan Civic, it will be imported, which means price will be nearly double the petrol version due to over 100% duties. The company says it is not feasible to make that car in India, as it would have limited volumes of 200-300 cars annually. "Excise duty cut would encourage manufacturers to bring in environment-friendly cars with advanced technology,' said Honda Siel India president and CEO M Takedagawa. While Honda does not get any direct benefit, the cut in excise helps it indirectly, in terms of lower counter-vailing duty on import

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