This IIT Delhi incubated company helps vintage cars run on batteries

By Ayshwaria Lakshmi
October 19, 2022, Updated on : Fri Oct 21 2022 03:18:24 GMT+0000
Founded in 2020 by Jawaad Khan, IIT Delhi incubated startup Tadpole Project does EV retrofitting.
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Electric vehicles (EVs) are in vogue. Almost every automotive company across the globe has come forward with electric vehicles, either on the roads or to be sold. 


But what happens to Internal Combustion (IC) vehicles already running on roads and vintage vehicles that were built for these engines? This is where Tadpole Projects thinks it could help. Founded in 2020 by Jawaad Khan, the startup does EV retrofitting. 


“We are converting the vehicles, and we started from the vintage car. Our first car was the Beetle,” shares Jaawad. While getting a vintage car retrofitted is a challenge, it is harder to make sure it works. This is because spare parts for vintage cars are very difficult to source. “We saw the problem and started giving a solution,” shares Jawaad. 


To date, Tadpole Projects has retrofitted 15 cars across different categories like vintage, passenger, logistic, and premium. It is now in the process of working on heavy-duty vehicles.  



Why retrofit?

As per the Motor Vehicle Acts of the country, a personal vehicle can be used for 15 years. Beyond this time period, it is considered that these vehicles would pollute the environment at a faster pace than new vehicles. 


In 2015, the environmental protection body National Green Tribunal issued a notice stating that diesel vehicles above 10 years old should be banned from the roads in the Delhi-NCR region. The owner of these vehicles can now bypass this order by converting their engines to electric kits.


In essence, converting these types of vehicles into electric would give them an additional lifespan of five to seven years on road. 


“This is where we find that people are suffering, and they want a solution there, and that's why we came up with a solution, and we got a lot of clients,” he adds. 


Retrofitting could also emerge as a potential solution to improve the transition to the widespread adoption of EVs. 


The global automotive retrofit electric vehicle powertrain market was valued at $58.89 billion in 2021, according to a report by Transparency Market Research. It is estimated to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.1% from 2022 to 2031 and is projected to reach $117.9 billion by the end of 2031. 


“The solution, which we are providing, is that whatever we make the car, the originality of the car remains the same. Just remove the kit and put your engine back,” says Jaawad. 


The company is currently focusing on the Indian market, with a few clients from Australia as well. Tadpole’s EV kit can be used for all vehicles except heavy vehicles. It caters to the three market segments such as vintage, premium, fleet, and vehicles used by the defence.


(The headline of the story has been updated)


Edited by Akanksha Sarma

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