The ministry of heavy industries is drafting a policy framework that will provide a norm for manufacturers of hybrid kits that enable existing passenger cars to convert into hybrids.
This new technology kits that Indian joint ventures such as KPIT Cummins and Bharat Forge are at an advance stage of manufacturing would lead to significant improvement in fuel efficiency. A retrofitted hybrid kit will provide at least a 15-25% higher fuel mileage in existing cars.
The new proposal will give a fillip to existing vehicle owners keen on converting to hybrid vehicles by deploying a parallel system that co-habits with existing power systems.
Besides leading to substantial savings on energy bills, the saving itself would allow the entire investment to be recovered in two-three years of vehicle use. The hybrid kit powered by batteries cost between Rs70,000 andRs1.5 lakh for small car to bigger SUVs currently running on Indian roads.
The ministry of heavy industries, the nodal agency for automotive industry in India, has drafted a policy framework to allow hybrid kits installation into existing passenger cars.
"The final threads of the proposal lies with the ministry of road transport & highways that is testing this technology to standardise and adopt it in existing cars. There are large number of vehicles that could be covered and upgrade in power and mileage so country-wide applicable standards are being worked out," said Ambuj Sharma, joint secretary, department of heavy industries.
Just like the CNG kits are retrofitted into petrol cars of any class — 800cc to 3000cc — the hybrids technology comprising an electric motor and its controller, battery pack, software controller and battery management system changes it into a full parallel plug-in hybrid.
"It simple means that the engine and motor will always run simultaneously and give the required boost and fuel efficiency. The advantage of plug-in means that the same car can be connected to a normal electrical power supply at home and the batteries are charged without burning fossil fuel," a senior Maruti Suzuki executive working in research & development said.
Besides, it also uses the stop/start system that makes engine more efficient in congested stop and go situations while the use of regenerative braking system further saves energy. "It would also help in curtailing the menace of emission as there is substantial drop in greenhouse gases," added Sharma.
Auto industry executives say that biggest advantage of a retrofitted hybrid technology is that unlike the electric vehicles there is no additional infrastructure needed to put in place.
They say that equipment could be installed within few hours that makes a car hybrid which does not need any changing stations etc and leads to substantial mileage increase of up to even 40% in many cases and faster pickup.
While many companies are already providing hybrid technology solutions, the Indian joint venture such as KPIT and Bharat Forge are in advance stages to manufacture and commercialise the required kits. Soon, you will be able to convert your car into hybrid & save energy - The Economic Times