NEW DELHI: Auto giants Jeep, Skoda, Audi and Ford are busy harnessing the power of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. The wait for Kia Sonet and the facelifted Maruti Suzuki S-Cross is finally over. Can hydrogen-CNG be an alternative fuel? Read these and more in this edition of TOI Auto Weekly:
Spare tyre, no more: The government has notified regulations for tyres, safety glass and external projections, among others, under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR). The ministry said that tyre repair kit has been prescribed in case of a puncture while the requirement of the additional tyre has been done away with in such vehicles provided with the tyre repair kit and TPMS.
Moving towards Hero’s Ather: Hero MotoCorp has announced a further investment of Rs 84 crore in Ather Energy, taking up its shareholding in India’s first intelligent electric scooter manufacturer to 34.58 per cent. Hero MotoCorp has been a part of Ather’s growth story since 2016 when it first invested as a part of series B funding.
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Real or illusion:Bajaj Auto is witnessing a strong revival in demand for two-wheelers in the domestic as well as international markets, even as it continues to face headwinds in the three-wheeler segment, a senior company official has said. The company, however, expects to have a much clearer trend at its disposal by the next month-end to see whether the current demand for two-wheelers is just a pent-up demand from previous months or the industry really is back on a revival path.
Hydrogen-CNG a replacement to petrol?: The government has invited suggestions from stakeholders for the inclusion of hydrogen-enriched CNG as an automotive fuel. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued a draft notification seeking comments and suggestions from the public and all stakeholders for the amendment to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1979 for the inclusion of hydrogen-enriched CNG as an automotive fuel.

Electric car supplies energy back to house: Audi and the Hager Group joined hands and developed bidirectional charging, a research and solution approach that creates financial incentives and offers greater security of supply. The idea is as simple as it is genius: The high-voltage battery of the electric car not only is charged via the wall box at home but can also supply energy back to the house as a decentralized storage medium.

Bumper launches around the corner:Kia Motors India is all set to debut the sub-compact SUV Sonet on August 7. Sonet, Kia’s third product in India, is likely to throw a challenge to Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Mahindra XUV300 and Hyundai Venue. Interestingly, ahead of Sonet-premiere, Hyundai has proactively introduced the iMT (intelligent manual transmission) with Venue, a feature that both the cars share.

Maruti Suzuki India has finally decided to drive in the BS6 S-Cross on July 29. Much like Vitara Brezza, S-Cross bids a farewell to the diesel powertrain, and adopts K15B petrol engine, which is shared with the likes of Ciaz, Ertiga and XL6.
Global takeaways: Ford Motors has introduced the all-electric Mustang Mach-E 1400, which set a new benchmark of performance EVs, targeting 1,400 peak horsepower.

BMW Group’s Mini unveiled the 2021 John Cooper Works Countryman. The new sub-compact SUV designed by JCW will offer a better driving experience and versatility on the roads and will be hitting the roads by November.
Skoda Auto has announced the world premiere Enyaq iV electric SUV on September 1. In a first, Jeep has revealed three new variants of plug-in hybrid Renegade namely Longitude, Limited, and Trailhawk with varying power outputs.