Category Archives: Electric Vehicles

How racing technology from Formula E is changing perspectives on EVs

Motorsports has always been a way for manufacturers to develop and test out new technologies, and these technologies have constantly impacted the cars on our roads. High-level motorsports – such as Formula One, and more recently Formula E – has always been a way of testing new technologies for road cars.

Mahindra is just one such example. Having been a manufacturer of electric vehicles for 18 years, according to team principal Dilbagh Gill, being a part of the racing series has helped jump-start their experience with more powerful vehicles and to plan for a new round of more upscale consumer EVs. The motorsport has further exposed Mahindra to carbon fibre and composites construction and applications.

Formula E is the world’s first fully-electric international single-seater street racing series and has become a way for technology partners such as Williams Advanced Engineering, as well as manufacturers including Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover, Audi and BMW to develop new solutions for electric road cars. James Barclay, team director at Panasonic Jaguar Racing explains: “ABB FIA Formula E has been central to Jaguar Land Rover’s move towards electrification…The Formula E programme will generate tangible R&D benefits, with the technology developed and lessons learned on the race track helping to accelerate the electrification of future Jaguar Land Rover road cars.”

Changing Perspectives:
Formula E is not only leading the development and adaptation of the technology we see in our road cars, but it’s starting to change perceptions of electric vehicles by showcasing that if electric racing cars look that cool, then consumer electric cars can be just as impressive. The sport is showing people that electric cars aren’t boring or slow.

Auto Expo: A Brief Introduction

The Auto Expo is Asia’s largest biennial automotive show held in Greater Noida, NCR, India. Conceived in 1985 and making its debut in 1986 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, the expo is focused towards introducing new technology, concepts, innovation and designs in the auto industry.

Jointly organized by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the Auto Expo’s path-breaking debut show was a window for technology transfers representing how the Indian Automotive Industry was absorbing the new technologies and promoting indigenous research and development for adapting these technologies for the rugged Indian conditions.

Over the years, the show has only grown stronger. By 2006, it began to see huge overseas participation, with new concepts, launches, as well as trade dialogues. In 2008, it was accredited by the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA), cementing its reputation as one of the world’s most premier auto shows.

In 2020, the 15th Auto Show aimed to not only focus on the static display of motor vehicles but to also focus on the ‘Entire Mobility Eco-System’, enveloped by the theme of “Co-Create, Co-Exist and Celebrate”. Despite the slowdown in the Indian motor industry, the expo had several big brands take part in the event showcasing multiple new concept cars, with electric vehicles taking centre stage.

Today, the Auto Expo is eagerly anticipated by brands and fans alike.

Growth of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in India

The growth of the electric vehicle industry in India directly depends on the availability or shortage of charging stations in the country. As part of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) India programme, the government has approved a plan to establish 2,636 charging stations throughout the country to further encourage the use of EVs and produce high adoption by 2030 in India.

According to this report, of the 2,636 stations:

  1. Rapid charging stations = 1,633
  2. Maharashtra = 317
  3. Andhra Pradesh = 266
  4. Tamil Nadu = 256
  5. Uttar Pradesh = 207
  6. Rajasthan = 205
  7. Delhi and Chandigarh = around 70

It is expected that at least one charging station will be available in most of the selected cities in a grid of 4 km x 4 km. Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. (EESL), an energy service provider owned by the Indian government is all set to collaborate with engineering group Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) to build electric-vehicle charging stations throughout India.

Various community charging stations and businesses are taking on the initiative of increasing the accessibility of these stations. Tata Power established the first set of Electric Vehicle charging stations in Mumbai and are now present in Delhi and Hyderabad.

PluginIndia wants to popularize the concept of community charging stations with the idea for businesses/resorts/vacation homes etc, that are at a distance of 40-70 km around cities, to setup normal 15 Amp charge points or Smart EVSE for electric cars and next-generation electric bikes. Having successfully set up 257 Community Charging Stations across India, they have developed a mobile app by the community for the community, complete with Google Maps integration.

RE:CHARGE INDIA App Features

  1. Find electric vehicle charge points near your location
  2. Browse electric vehicle charge points on a Map
  3. Search for charge points
  4. View electric vehicle charge points details
  5. Get driving directions from your location to an electric vehicle charge point
  6. Call phone number directly from the app
  7. Report an electric vehicle charge point
  8. Add a new electric vehicle charge point

Get the App:
Android – Recharge India – EV Charging points map

App Store – RE:CHARGE

All of these efforts have one goal – that easier access would encourage more use; and the faster that EVs become a trend, the better for the environment.

Hybrid Cars

What is a hybrid car?
Hybrid cars are electrified vehicles that still use an internal combustion engine, which means combining a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor. The main advantage of a hybrid is that it consumes less fuel and emits less CO2 than a conventional petrol or diesel-engine vehicle.

How do hybrid cars work?
Driving a hybrid is similar to driving an automatic car, so there’s little compromise on performance. A hybrid combines at least one electric motor with a gasoline engine to move the car, and its system recaptures energy via regenerative braking. Unlike an Electric Vehicle (EV) or Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), hybrids also have a petrol or diesel engine to fall back on if the electricity supply is diminishing.

Types of hybrids:
There are three different types of hybrids and each work in a different way.

Parallel/Full Hybrid
This is the most common type of hybrid. A full hybrid is a car which can drive under its own electric power, petrol or a combination of both. They are sometimes called ‘parallel hybrids’. The car’s wheels can be powered in three different ways: either directly by the engine, by the electric motor alone, or a blend of the two power sources. The Toyota Prius is the most widely known example.

Mild Hybrid
A mild hybrid car cannot drive under electric power alone and doesn’t improve fuel economy to the extent that a full hybrid system can. The engine never drives the car; it only produces energy for the electric motor. The Honda Jazz r is one of the more popular examples.

Plug-in Hybrid
As its name states, this type of hybrid can be plugged into an electric outlet to recharge their batteries, as well as being charged on the move. It carries a much larger battery pack that must be fully recharged using an external electricity source from the home or public charging station. Popular plug-in hybrids include the BMW i8 and VW Golf GTE, with both cars having bigger battery capacities to enable a longer electric range.