Government’s strong push for adopting electric mobility is set to change the landscape of our auto industry in a few years’ time. However, it remains to be seen what is the plan for the millions of IC-engined vehicles that are already out there.
There is no doubt that India needs to come up with efficient and large scale recycling plants to aid the massive technology transformation. Retrofitting the existing vehicles with EV hardware is a great way of keeping the existing vehicles still relevant and environment friendly while we work on solving the recycling problem.
Bangalore-based automotive startup Meladath Auto Components has in its portfolio, among other inventions, an electric conversion kit for petrol scooters. The e-kit (patent filed) which is currently in advanced stage of prototype testing consists of a front wheel mounted BLDC (Brushless) motor with hollow shaft.
The only point where the petrol engine and electric motor sub-systems meet is the throttle control. The company says that the retrofitting of its e-kit does not require any modification of the IC engine. According to MAC, the e-kit will offer a pure electric range of 30 km after which the customers can continue to use their scooters in petrol mode.
Meladath Auto Components is planning to get ARAI approval for its e-kit by October 2019. The specifications of the electric motor are still under wraps but the system includes a lithium battery pack which goes into the underseat storage area. We think, depending on the scooter model, the battery installation may require some permanent modification.
Commercial launch of MAC e-kit is expected soon after the company receives ARAI certification. While the price is not revealed yet, the award-winning e-mobility startup claims that the customer will receive return on investment in under 400 days. The retrofit kit is said to reduce the fossil fuel consumption by 82%. Of course, the fuel saving depends on your daily usage pattern.
Retrofittable electric conversion kits for existing two wheelers is a great way to drive mass electrification along with introducing all-new pure electric products. Such kits also go a long way in alleviating range anxiety.
MAC e-kit is scheduled to be introduced in November 2019. The company says that the system will cost quarter of what a new electric scooter would cost.