Suzuki planning an electric Jimny among EV, hybrid onslaught

Suzuki introduced the larger, five-door Jimny earlier this month, and an investor presentation detailing the automaker’s growth strategy to 2030 shows there’s more in store. The automaker’s mission is to expand its lineup with vehicles that move toward the “realization of a carbon neutral society.” This entails Europe, India and Japan receiving five or six new hybrid and/or battery-electric models each. In Europe, the first of Suzuki’s five BEVs will show in financial year 2024; when the rollout is complete, it will include an electric Jimny — the silhouette in the upper right. According to Australian outlet Drive, starting from the upper left, the others are a small people-mover, an electric version of the Fronx crossover Suzuki debuted at Auto Expo in India earlier this month, an unknown hatchback, and the retail version of the EVX concept.

An electric Jimny would get the dinky 4×4 back to Europe without any classification trickery. The Japanese brand ended export of the regular four-seat model to Europe in 2020 when it could no longer pass EU emissions. It now sends the same model as a two-seat commercial vehicle. Suzuki sells as many as seven models in European markets not including the Jimny, six of them mild hybrids, one a plug-in hybrid. There have been rumors of a hybrid Jimny for a couple of years, and it’s predicted the new five-door will get a hybrid option shortly. The investor presentation deck predicted an eventual powertrain ratio in Europe of 80% battery-electric vehicles, 20% hybrid vehicles. We expect that would mean a near overhaul of the European ranges with current models dropping out in favor of hybrids with electric options.

What’s unexpected is that the battery-electric Jimny silhouette doesn’t show on the slides for the Indian or Japanese markets. In Japan, Suzuki expects sales to end up 80% hybrid, 20% EV, the opposite of Europe. The Indian outpost, known as Maruti Suzuki, is the automaker’s largest market, and one local outlet said 1,000 shoppers have paid to reserve a spot for the five-door Jimny every day since the truck’s debut. The expected powertrain breakdown there is much more varied than the other two regions at 15% battery-electric vehicles, 25% hybrid, and a 60% share of internal combustion made up of a mix of compressed natural gas, biogas, ethanol and “etc.” This would definitely be a market for the hybrid Jimny whenever it shows.

None of this gets the Jimny closer to our shores, but there’s no reason the hybrid or electric trims shouldn’t make their way to Mexico where the Jimny is already on sale. 

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