Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot has said cars older than 10 years will be allowed to ply in the capital only if owners can get their engines swapped with fully electric drivetrains
Cars older than 10 years will be allowed to ply in the capital only if owners can get their engines swapped with fully electric drivetrains. The Delhi government plans to empanel various EV conversion kit manufacturers to execute the conversions.
In 2015, the environment protection body National Green Tribunal (NGT) had ordered that all diesel vehicles registered in the state that are older than 10 years be banned. But now diesel car owners can bypass this ban by retroffing them with electric kits.
“Delhi is now open to ICE to electric retrofitting! Vehicles if found fit can convert their diesel to electric engine, dept'll empanel manufacturers of pure electric kit by approved testing agencies. Once empanelled this'll enable vehicles to continue plying here beyond 10 yrs,” said Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on Twitter.
What does retrofit mean?
Retrofitting is the replacement of the combustion powertrain with an electric driveline in a vehicle. This method is used in Europe to convert diesel trucks and buses into zero-emission CVs. It has helped reduce carbon emissions in big cities while also reducing congestion.
Vehicles deemed fit for this conversion can be converted into EVs in Delhi and used beyond the registration timeline of 10 years. Retrofitting increases the life span of existing vehicles by 5-7 years so the car would not fall into the new scrappage policy.
What does the law state?
The law relating to retrofitting states that the installation of type-approved hybrid electric system kit can only be done by an installer who is authorized by the manufacturer or supplier of such kits. The kit manufacturer has to obtain the type approval certificate from a specified test agency.
But what does an EV conversion kit consist of?
In order to use your old diesel car on roads, you have to first convert it into an electric vehicle. The Delhi transport department will enlist manufacturers who make electric kits for retrofitting conventional ICE vehicles to EVs. The diesel car will first be stripped of all its ICE components such as the engine, fuel tank, exhaust, drivetrain. The car will then get an electric motor, a high-voltage wiring circuit, battery pack and control units for the EV system.
What is the cost?
There are a handful of EV conversion agencies in India, and the cost varies from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 4 lakh. For example, ETrio, a Hyderabad-based startup is already converting ICE (Diesel/ Petrol) vehicles like the Maruti Alto and Dzires into electric ones with a battery range of up to 150 km on a single charge into electric. 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.
Founded in 2012, Bengaluru-based Altigreen is a low-cost technological solution that can 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.
The hybrid kit produced by Altigreen is fitted alongside the engine and includes dual-electric machine, generator, wire harness, power and control electronics, , and batteries. The system gets power from the energy that is produced by the engine but is otherwise wasted. The 48V battery pack is made up of 4 Lead-acid batteries which is fitted in the boot of the car without eating much space. This plug-in system costs anywhere between Rs 60,000 - 80,000.
Then there is Folks Motor: Delhi-based hybrid-electric retrofit car company 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. The hybrid- electric (xEV) retrofit kit includes a motor, controller and battery, and is integrated into the existing driveline of a manual-transmission car, also giving it automatic driving capability up to speeds of 30kph.
Point to note: While the initial investment may cost you considerably, fully electric cars do not need fuel. So, you will save money on fuel by purchasing a fully electric car.
Besides, the Delhi government has also permitted light commercial vehicles that are electric, for example, ' Chota Haathi' to ply on the roads during no-entry hours. "Good news for Electric Light Commercial Vehicles ( L5N & N1). To drive the adoption of EVs we've exempted these vehicles from any prohibition from plying & idle parking on identified roads during 'No Entry' Hours. LCVs reg. has already seen a 95% hike since launching of EV Policy!" Gahlot said in a tweet. The government believes that this step would further boost EV penetration in the state.
The Delhi government's announcement comes at a time, when the national capital is suffering from severe air pollution and vehicular emission is one of the contributors to that. The government launched its EV policy last year in August. Not only has the registration of EVs been going up, but August and September 2021 saw more electric vehicles being sold in Delhi than purely CNG-run ones. Within a year, the share of EVs in new vehicle sales in Delhi has tripled while the sales of electric two-wheelers have doubled (from 1,013 to 2,243) and the adoption of e-cars has grown by 20 per cent. The Delhi Transport Corporation has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Convergence Energy Services Limited for the installation f charging stations and battery swapping stations at its bus depots and terminals.