Check out this Maruti Alto that has undergone an electric car conversion. The car sports an e-conversion kit built by E-Trio and has a low running cost of less than a rupee per km.
The automobile industry is slowly but gradually moving towards complete electrification. At the moment there aren’t many takers, but buyers all over the world have been showing a preference for zero-emission e-mobility. Sadly, there are plenty of challenges along the way, especially in India. Firstly, we do not yet have an infrastructure capable of supporting electric vehicle charging the same way we have fuel pumps. Secondly, a typical new EV is much more expensive than equivalent petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles. There, however, is one solution that takes care of the second problem- electric car conversion.
Maruti Alto EV (Electric conversion kit by E-Trio)
While this car conversion costs a bit more than Rs 3 lakh, the electric Alto has a very low running cost of just Rs 0.90 per km. This is pretty much what a bare-basic commuter motorcycle like a Hero Splendor offers.
Converting a regular car into an electric one is considerably cheaper than purchasing a new one, and is also a more environment-friendly solution. E-Trio, a company based in Hyderabad, Telangana, provides e-conversion kits that can be easily retro-fitted into small cars. The company offers two EV drivetrain options- EV 150 and EV 180. The former uses a 17.28 kWh battery and a 10 kW motor, and offers a driving range of up to 150 km. The latter utilizes a 17.8 kWh/15 kW battery and motor combo, and can deliver a total driving range of 180 km. The Alto in the pictures here uses an EV 150 system.
Sathya Yalamanchili, founder, E-Trio, posing with the electric Alto
Instead of working with traditional lead-acid batteries or the extremely-popular lithium-ion batteries, E-Trio uses ‘lithium iron phosphate’ batteries. This relatively new types of battery design. Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries are more stable than regular lithium-ion batteries, in the event of overcharging and mishandling, and also have slightly better charge density, a longer life, and slightly more economical to manufacture, and are safer as well. These are non-combustible, which is one of the biggest risks with Li-ion batteries. Lastly, Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) is non-toxic, and thus slightly better for the environment.
E-Trio conversion kits can be retrofitted on plenty of vehicles
According to the company, a full charge takes around 7 hours via regular charging, and just 1 hour using fast charging. Apart from the electric drivetrain, the cars also get a fully-digital instrument console, regenerative braking, and downhill driving assist. Apart from Alto, you can also have e-conversion kits for Wagon R, Swift, Ritz, i20, Polo, and Swift Dzire.