While the whole nation is fighting against the rising fuel prices, while the ministries are holding meetings on meetings to take necessary measures and while the automakers are making new strategies to shift their focus towards the diesel vehicles, here is the company, which came up with a solution that could perhaps help most of us to save on some petrol charges. The company is none other than the well-known KPIT Cummins, the makers of India’s first aftermarket plug-in hybrid kit. It has developed an aftermarket plug-in hybrid system, called Revolo , designed to make the cars more fuel efficient.
An aftermarket plug-in hybrid kit, as the name suggests is a kit which can be plugged into the vehicles to tweak its performance after it has been bought from the car manufacturers. Many customers use such kits to change their vehicles into high performance beasts. So, is Revolo a complicated system? Well, definitely not if we go by the components it uses. The system consists of just 3 components –
1) a set of batteries,
2) a charger and
3) an electric motor.
Sounds simple isn’t it? But then, to integrate this whole system seamlessly into the engine is not an easy task. It requires a lot of high end technologies and software to make it a reality as one cannot afford to adversely affect the original system.
So, let’s move into the technicalities of this system and how it functions. The charger that it uses can be plugged into any wall socket and that is used to charge the set of batteries. A 95 percent charge is achieved within 3-4 hours of charging. These batteries weigh 92 Kg and are placed in the boot. To counter the heavy weight of these batteries on the rear wheels, the company is already in a process of developing a low-cost spring-in-spring solution which will help in sharing the load on rear end suspension. Finally, there is a small 2.2 kW (peak power 7 kW) electric motor under the hood. This is connected to the crankshaft via a pulley and a toothed belt. The entire drive system works efficiently as it uses just 48-volt system. Once the batteries drain out, the Battery Management System shuts the system down and the petrol engine continues to operate as normal.
KPIT claims that the system gives a range between 40-60 kms which includes the 10-12 percent top-up charge accrued when the motor rewinds. Not just that, but there is also a piggy-back ECU that reads data from the car’s sensors. And then there is advanced battery management system that helps in prolonging the battery life. What is interesting is a built-in-function that can alter the ‘assist Vs range’ ratio in accordance to the driving style. So overall, the system claims a 25-35 percent increase in fuel economy.
All said about the technology, the question that would hit our minds is ‘what about the driving experience’?
Well, as you start off, you will feel no difference. But then at higher speeds, one would feel the drag. But once the car is running at full throttle, again there is no difference. The system provides no assistance at the maximum power. But, that is not the only question in our minds. So, what about the price of this kit? The system would cost approximately Rs.75,000 which includes the installation charges payable to the dealer. So, take out your calculators and do those quick calculations to know if this system can help you save some money.
Source – Autocar India