The high dependency on fossil fuels for energy needs globally resulting in fast depletion, the ever increasing fuel prices and the vehicular pollution in India, all pose a daunting question to us – What is the alternative means of fulfilling energy needs for road transport? It gorges approximately 80% of India’s crude oil consumption and is the major cause of air and noise pollution too.
Electric vehicles look like a solution. According to SMEV (Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles), electric vehicles are 97% cleaner and 60% more energy efficient as compared to the vehicles running on petrol or diesel. But the adoption of electric vehicles has been very low in India due to the high prices, high maintenance, low speed and low power engines.
Electric Vehicle India (EVI), a startup from Mumbai, founded by Priyank Dahanukar is trying to solve this problem. They are a team of four and have designed and developed a retro fitted kit to convert existing vehicles into hybrid or electric vehicle. “It is an electric drive system for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles. The EVI system can improve vehicle fuel economy, increase power and enable improved vehicle handling to both new and existing vehicles,” says Priyank.
Talking about the kit Priyank shared – EVI kit does not affect the engine but enables it more. It is like a 3 feet by 2 feet blackbox with a motor, controller for the motor, chargers and BMS (battery management system) and about 800-1000 batteries in one unit. There are different kits depending on the horse power of vehicles, ranging from 850 cc to 2500 cc. To charge the battery fully, it takes around 7-8 hours and just 8 units of electricity and the speed of 100-120km can be achieved. With EVI kits installed in vehicles, the option of keeping the petrol/diesel source to run the vehicle still remains and the source of energy can be changed with just a switch. I have been working on the idea for the last 4 years but the markets opened only after the hybrid and electric vehicle policy by Indian government was released. EVI can benefit both new vehicles as well as those already on the road. The EVI motors are not sold as off-the-shelf, individual units and EVI is currently working with a variety of development partners including OEMs, Tier 1s, vehicle integrators and test centers.
People can charge the vehicles at home, but the absence of charging stations in India will be a major challenge in the path of adoption of complete electric vehicles. Of course, it comes after convincing and partnering with OEMs to manufacture vehicles with EVI kits.
The time to charge the batteries completely can be reduced to 10 minutes at the charging stations if empowered equipments are installed. And this needs government’s efforts and support. Priyank shares, "Infrastructure, subsidiary and investment from the government’s end are very much needed.”
EVI is working on the validation programs that will fully meet the required automotive standards for an application of EVI and is in talks with various OEMs and vehicle integrators. EVI is also developing systems suitable for next generation's light sport vehicles. They have also filed patents for the technology developed.
Priyank says, “We have invested a substantial amount of capital in the last 3 years on developing this idea and have a fully tested and working technology today.” They are looking at setting up a manufacturing unit of their products and are looking for an initial seed fund for the same.
McDowell’s No. 1 Platinum respects Leaders like Priyank who had the courage to follow their passion and also encourages more people to follow their dreams and join them in their unconventional journey to make the world a better place.