Prices of petrol and diesel show no signs of abating as they hit the Rs 100 a litre mark in certain parts of the country. In major cities like Mumbai and Delhi, prices have breached the Rs 80 per litre mark.
Besides all the chatter on social media platforms, political parties have also begun taking shots at each other for the price rise. Some have rightly spoken on the exorbitant excise duty imposed by the Central government, while others have observed how India’s dependence on crude oil imports, which stands at over 80 per cent, has added to the problem.
In this regard, the government has defended itself by citing how global crude oil prices have risen by more than 50 per cent since October 2020. Although fuel prices didn’t reach such astronomical levels before this spike in global crude oil prices, the fact remains that for the past few years the cost of buying petrol and diesel, predominantly for personal vehicle use, has eaten into the household budgets of many ordinary Indians.
Despite these circumstances, this spike in petrol and diesel prices present an opportunity for many to transition to electrical vehicles. There are a plethora of vehicle purchase options in the Indian market.
But instead of buying a completely new two, three or four-wheeler, why not explore the option of converting your existing vehicle into an electric one or allow for features that allow commuters the option of going electric in their IC (internal combustion) engine vehicles?
EVs run at one-tenth the cost of petrol-guzzling vehicles, according to this Economic Times report. Meanwhile, this article concludes how the cost of running an EV on a per month basis is 85-90% cheaper as compared to a fuel vehicle.
Besides saving on fuel costs, you’re also drastically reducing maintenance costs. As an EV conversion startup owner once said to The Better India, “A conventional vehicle has more than 2,000 components, but when we convert it to electric, there are hardly 20.”
Here are four ventures that offer vehicle owners the option of switching to electric:
ETrio: Founded in 2017, this Hyderabad-based startup has reimagined EV adoption with a unique approach converting ICE (Diesel/ Petrol) vehicles into electric.
Obtaining certification from regulatory bodies like ARAI and ICAT for electrification of commercial vehicles, the startup is converting cars like the Maruti Alto and Dzires into electric ones with a battery range of up to 150 km on a single charge. The cost of the electric conversion kit is about Rs 4 lakh, but consumers can also opt for a lease on the kit or they can purchase the electrified car directly from them. The initial investment in this regard may seem high, but the long term savings in converting to electric cannot be denied.
RACEnergy: This Hyderabad-based startup has developed a conversion kit that can be retrofitted into an existing diesel-powered three-wheeler and convert it into an electrical one using a battery swapping model for just Rs 50,000. Once converted, auto drivers, save anywhere between 40-50% of their running costs, depending on certain variables. The auto drivers recover their cost of buying the kit in about 12-15 months, and this tenure is calculated only based on the amount they save in operating expenditure. With each battery swap, these three-wheeler EVs obtain a range of 100 km.
Altigreen: Founded in 2012, the Bengaluru-based developed a low-cost technological solution that can essentially convert any existing fossil-fuel-based vehicle from bikes to trucks into their hybrid version, and in the process, improve the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
“Making partially-electrified vehicles possible, Altigreen HyPixi is a 4-wheeler electric kit that works alongside existing internal combustion engines and can be retrofitted on in-use vehicles (both diesel and petrol) converting them to a hybrid-electric vehicle. HyPixi operates without needing any external charging from the grid, and using regenerative braking, intelligent 48V charging and electric assist, it can achieve 25% improvement in vehicle mileage, thanks to Altigreen’s proprietary modular architecture,” the company website reads.
This plug-in system costs anywhere between Rs 60,000-80,000. You can read more about it here.
Folks Motor: Calling itself India’s first hybrid-electric retrofit car company, the Delhi-based startup claims that it can convert any manual gearbox IC-engine car into a hybrid for just Rs 1-2 lakh depending, of course, on the make and model, according to Express Drives.
Backed by their proprietary technology platform ‘Hybrid ReGeN Drive’ regenerative braking technology, “the hybrid retrofitment system combines the benefits of both hybrid and EV drive modes, with pure-electric driving enabled on neutral gear within the manual transmission of the car,” as per this article.
“When driving on default hybrid mode, the batteries get self-charged internally and can be used to drive the car on electric mode for up to 50 Kms depending on the battery size,” it added.
There are other ventures involved in the business and this is not a definitive list. However, through this article, we are trying to present options to commuters tired of burning away their hard-earned money on exorbitant petrol costs.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)