The ministry of heavy industries is devising a policy framework that will provide a benchmark for manufacturers of hybrid kits that facilitate existing passenger cars to convert into hybrid cars.
By Baishakhi Dutta
This new technology kits that Indian joint ventures such as KPIT Cummins and Bharat Forge are at an leading stage of manufacturing would lead to symbolic advancement in fuel efficiency. A modified hybrid kit will provide at least a 15-25 per cent 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 mingle with existing power systems.
Besides leading to hefty 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 and Rs1.5 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.
Just like the CNG kits are modified into petrol cars of any class — 800cc to 3000cc — the hybrids technology involving an electric motor and its controller, battery pack, software controller and battery management system changes it into a full parallel plug-in hybrid.
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.
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.