Many people are hopping onto the electric vehicle bandwagon and conveniently ignoring the fact that for the electric vehicle future to exist, the present needs to be sorted out. Electric vehicles will take a long time and we need some immediate measures to fix our environmental problems. So, what exactly can be the solution? Hybrid vehicles are the solution. Yes, and it is high time that the finance ministry cuts down on the rate of GST on hybrid cars. Reducing the GST on electric vehicles will not encourage people to buy electric vehicles any time soon. There is still a long way to go for electric vehicles. And to justify the importance of hybrid vehicles, we analysed how effective a hybrid vehicle really is. So, we borrowed Toyota’s all-new Camry hybrid and found out why hybrid vehicles are the need of the hour.
How Does The Hybrid Drive?
Having never driven an electric vehicle, hybrid vehicles will help you in that transition from gasoline engines to electric powertrains. And the all-new Camry like its older generation will set you in the right direction for that seamless transition. You switch on the car, and you will have no clue if the car is switched on or not. The Camry will always switch on in the EV mode, its self-charging electric motor is so silent that you would want to cross-check with the Camry’s power steering input before proceeding further. Coming to the Camry’s transmission, it has a CVT gearbox along with paddle shifters, which never came to my use. This was due to the fact that the Camry has omitted the tachometer, so no real data on how long it could hold on to the gear. All you have to do is select from the three driving modes and drive on. Hybrids might seem underpowered but in no way that’s true. In the Camry, there is ample amount of power on offer and the 2.5-litre petrol engine in tandem with the electric motor is sufficient for a car of this size, producing a combined power of 215 PS.
Driving on the roads at lower speeds, you will hear a silent whine from the electric motor and when you put your foot down to overtake, the petrol engine takes over. This is after you cross the 40 km/h speed. Also, the transition is so seamless that you do not feel any jerks. The drive feels more engaging in the Normal and Sport mode, Eco mode is best suitable for peak hour traffic. What surprised me the most was its handling, every time I pushed it around an open bend, it inspired confidence. It comes really close to its German counterparts’ handling abilities. Nevertheless, this car can certainly propel ahead with sheer ease, that’s a proper sign of a highway cruiser. Talking about the hybrid engine’s practicality, the fuel efficiency is phenomenal! Even after constantly driving in Sport mode in the city, the Camry delivered a decent 12 km/l mileage and in Normal mode, the mileage was close to 15 km/l. This was all in Mumbai’s peak-hour city traffic, on the highway, it was even better delivering almost 18 km/l. Its regenerative braking is also one feature that helps in charging up the battery and improving the overall range.
When you consider buying this extremely practical luxury sedan it surely reflects your sense of responsibility towards the environment. And as far as the environment is concerned, hybrid cars like the Camry is the solution to our immediate present.
Engine: 2.5-litre 4 Cylinder Gasoline-Hybrid
Power: 215 PS
Torque: 202 Nm
Transmission: CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) Sequential Shift with Paddles
Price: ₹37.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)