Iran Khodro unveils hybrid electric vehicle

Financial Tribune- Iran Khodro unveiled a plug-in hybrid electric version of its Dena+ sedan over the weekend.

The hybrid is equipped with a 90KW and 220Nm electric motor and a 14kWh lithium-ion battery and has an automatic transmission system, IRIB News reported.

The prototype produces no tailpipe pollution in electric mode. If the batteries are fully charged, it can run using only electricity up to 90 km/h.

Dena Plus is not the first hybrid electric car designed by Iran Khodro. In 2015, a hybrid electric version of the company’s Runna was introduced. However, due to lack of interest the vehicle’s production was suspended from the outset.

Last month SAIPA, Iran’s second largest car maker unveiled its own hybrid electric car which is based on its sedan model Saina. The company says it wants to Saina hybrid electric to go into mass production by mid-2019. The car is priced at 700 million rials ($14,900) which is significantly more than the gasoline version that sells for 280 million rials ($6,000). Market observers say even if the Saina hybrid reaches the production lines it will have few buyers if any.

SAIPA says it hopes the government would provide incentives to the people to buy the overpriced electric car. However, the company’s ideas go against the privatization mantra agenda of the government.

One major challenge facing the electric car industry is the non-existence of charging stations in Iran. SAIPA and Iran Khodro would do better to first lobby for an infrastructure plan to power such vehicles and then look for a target market.