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

A major part of London has recently been declared Low Emission Zone, where heavy-duty diesel lorries violating exhaust norms will be fined up to

15 Jul 2013

The pilot project on electric, hybrid buses for public transport   looks more like a friendly nudge to industry to find 'real business' for a very expensive technology concept. Green steps without green target is a bad idea

Honda Motor Co will maintain the target for lease sales of its newest fuel-cell car after over a year since its launch despite the challenge of boosting productivity, the model's chief engineer said.

Lithium-ion batteries have a limited number of charge cycles in electric vehicles, but once a car's battery pack goes kaput, it can be recycled or find new life in less demanding applications - storing renewable energy generated during off-peak hours, for example. At least that's the theory.

Seeking to put the nation back in the lead on an important technology, the Obama administration awarded more than $2 billion in grants on Wednesday for manufacturing advanced batteries and other components for electric cars.

Companies working with Ford Motor Co (F.N), Chrysler Group and General Motors Corp [GM.UL] received more than $600 million on Wednesday to further development of batteries for hybrids and electric cars.

The awards were part of $2.4 billion in grants being announced by the Obama administration as part of its "green" economy vision and efforts to enhance U.S. energy independence.

Hyundai Motor Group, the world's No.5 automaker, said on Wednesday it would invest $3.3 billion in green projects to meet the government's stricter fuel efficiency and emission requirements, joining a recent series of eco-friendly investments by South Korean firms.

Global investment in clean energy and climate-friendly technologies leapt in the last three months but full-year levels won't recover until 2010 or 2011, analysts said on Wednesday.

Falling energy demand and more expensive debt have hurt large renewable projects for example in wind and solar power. Recession has cut risk appetite, curbing funding for clean technology start-ups.

General Electric Co plans to invest $100 million in a factory to build high-tech batteries for heavy equipment, which it believes could be a $1 billion business over the next decade.