Posted in:Business, Energy & Environment
A sustainable, hybrid solution that increases fuel efficiency, with the potential for mass adoption
KPIT Cummins has developed a technology for an intelligent, plug-in, parallel hybrid solution that will enable both existing and new vehicles to dramatically increase fuel efficiency and engine performance, while significantly decreasing green house gas (GHG) emissions. This solution for automobiles will be manufactured through a joint venture (JV) between Bharat Forge Limited and KPIT Cummins Infosystems Limited.
REVOLO is an indigenous & innovative solution that has been conceptualized, developed and frugally engineered in India. It allows more than 35% savings in travel costs with over 60% increase in efficiency during city driving conditions. The system also enables a reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) of more than 35%. The solution can be retrofitted into existing vehicles and can also be offered to OEMs to build into vehicles.
Immediately it has the potential to benefit automotive aftermarket, as the service stations will now be able to offer their customers an opportunity to convert conventional vehicles into eco-friendly hybrids, regardless of the fuel they run on, in a matter of 4-6 hours. It offers car owners the best of both worlds – the ability to go green and save money, while achieving greater power, better acceleration & greater performance.
Existing retrofit hybrid technology costs upward of 20,000 USD and also involves changing original parts /transmission systems. REVOLO’s innovative technology makes the solution cost in the range of INR 65,000 – 1,50,000 (approximately 1500 USD), thereby setting new standard of value that frugal engineering can deliver to both auto manufacturers and drivers around the world. The solution doesn’t interfere with manufacturers’ in-vehicle systems, is battery chemistry agnostic, is compact yet delivers high peak power.
Current solutions are expensive and offer an incremental solution to the energy challenge; thus there was a need for a solution that would deliver revolutionary results on fuel efficiency while being affordable and fast to implement in order to be suited for mass adoption.
As a parallel hybrid, this solution will enable the motor and engine to work simultaneously. Unlike an electric vehicle, the car will operate as a conventional fuel vehicle even if the batteries are completely drained. As a plug-in, the vehicle can be charged through a standard external electricity source such as a domestic power outlet. The solution can be adopted to work with various types of batteries such as lead acid batteries or Lithium Ion batteries. It works without any interaction or interference with the existing Engine Management System (EMS) of the vehicle. The system is thereby also adaptable to vehicles without EMS and without electronic engines.
Key components include:
- Electric motor
- Electronic motor controller
- Battery pack
- Mechanical assembly & coupling
- Proprietary software for control algorithms of the motor & batteries
- Intelligent battery management system that enhances battery performance and battery life
- ‘Plug-in’ – The batteries used in the solution can be charged from a standard external electricity source such as a domestic power outlet.
- ‘Parallel hybrid’ – The motor and engine work simultaneously at all times. The vehicle will never work like an EV (electric vehicle) only and hence will continue to operate as a conventional fuel vehicle if the batteries are fully discharged.
- The load sharing between the motor and engine is seamless and does not need any user intervention.
- The batteries are recharged through opportunity based regeneration and regenerative braking thereby enhancing the range per charge.
- The solution also includes an inbuilt Stop-Start feature, which improves the fuel efficiency in ‘stop & go’ traffic situations.
- The solution also has in-built intelligence which recognizes driving patterns and self-adjusts to provide optimum efficiency.
- Similarly the solution can also adjust performance based on user provided range selection.
- The solution is battery-agnostic, in other words, it can be adopted to work with various types of batteries such as lead acid batteries or Lithium Ion batteries. The test results being discussed here are using a lead acid battery based solution.
- The solution currently uses ‘Valve Regulated Lead Acid’ batteries. These batteries can withstand high ambient temperatures without compromising on safety or performance. They are gel-based which do not require top-ups using distilled water et al. Since they are sealed and gel based, fumes are not emitted thereby avoiding hazardous situations. Suitable mechanical safety has also been addressed.
- The solution works without any interaction or interference with the existing Engine Management System (EMS) of the vehicle. The system is thereby also adaptable to vehicles without EMS and without electronic engines.
- The solution requires low maintenance and has a reliable three phase AC induction motor.
- This solution can be made available as an Original Equipment Manufacturer integrated solution or even retrofitted on vehicles as an aftermarket solution.
- 11 global patents have been filed in areas such as integrated system, motor design, motor mounting, and control system and battery management.
- Fuel efficiency improvement of over 40% as observed during tests at ARAI. The solution however provides 60% to 80% improvement during city driving conditions & above 50% during highway driving.
- Solution is capable of reducing GHG emissions by over 30%.
- Solution provides more pep & additional power to the vehicle.
- Solution improves driving pleasure.
- Solution increases the life of the engine and reduces maintenance cost.
- For commercial applications when the vehicle is used for higher mileage (>55,000 kms), the breakeven is expected to be less than 1.5 years.
- Since the consumption of fuel will go down on account of the hybrid solution, the government would be able to save through the reduction in subsidy and foreign exchange outflow.
- The reduced GHG emissions will also significantly contribute to the voluntary target for emission reduction.
- Retro-fitment of this solution can be expeditiously done in 4 to 6 hours.
- Solution does not require additional infrastructure investments from the government.