India is betting big on electric vehicles, but where does that leave the makers of hybrids?

Last Sunday was a decisive one for Toyota Kirloskar Motor. It was the day the GST Council met to review tax rates in a vast swathe of product categories. By the end of the meeting, rates on 66 products were brought down, including pickles, agarbattis and cashew nuts. Hybrid cars — where Toyota’s India outpost is a pioneer of sorts with the Camry hybrid and with plans to launch many more such models — weren’t that lucky, and will attract a peak duty of 43% (28% GST plus 15% cess). Electric vehicles (EVs) will be taxed at 12% even as hybrids are bracketed along with luxury cars in the 43% tax stratosphere.

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