An Inexpensive Green Vehicle
QUEEN’S ROAD: A PESCE (P.E.S. College of Engineering, Mandya ) student has designed an affordable and eco-friendly electric car that runs at just 20 paise a kilometre.
K T Prakash, a final year automobile engineering student, was driven to invent this car because of the urgent need to reduce pollution and save scant resources like petrol. Prakash put his heart and soul into making the IndoElectra, which he says can be made available for just Rs 76,000.
Although he worked independently on the project, with no financial assistance from anyone, Prakash gives full credit to the faculty members of the automobile engineering branch, to his parents and friends who encouraged him and stood by him through the process.
Technical specifications of the two-seater car:
The IndoElectra can seat two people and is light in weight. It runs on an electric motor of 200 watts and has a battery of 12 volts.
The car has expanding internal brakes and an independent suspension at the front and the rear. A tubular chassis connects the front and the rear suspension areas.
The car can reach a maximum speed of 42 km an hour with a 160kg payload on level roads. When fully charged, it can run up to 50 km. Electric power costs around Rs 10 for a single charge of the battery (three units).
The car is easy to drive because of the absence of a gear-shifting mechanism. And the lightness and smaller size of the car makes it easy to drive on city roads.
Unlike other cars which emit tailpipe pollutants like carbon-monoxide, greenhouse gases, hydrocarbons and sulphur-dioxide, this car has no emissions.
To upgrade the car, Prakash is working on a hydraulic operating system and a more effective braking system. He is also working to spruce up the interiors to increase passenger comfort.
Prakash is also modifying the current design to create a four-seater electric car at a low cost that will be low maintenance and more economical than petroleum powered vehicles.
About his four-seater project, Prakash says, “In India, we are facing so many fuel and pollution related problems. Not all of us can afford the expensive electric cars available in the market. The petrol money needed for a two-wheeler can now be used to run this eco-friendly electric car because it is safer to drive. The running cost is also less and it is compact and easy to handle in congested urban areas.”
IndoElectra was Prakash’s dream project and he worked for five months on the fabrication and re-engineering of the components.
Simultaneously, Prakash along with a team of students is studying the process of extracting ethanol from scum juice which is obtained by sugarcane crushing units. And he hopes it can be used as an alternative to conventional fuel.
Prakash believes that if the government provides funding, technical as well as industrial support, then the dream of mass-producing his car could turn into a reality.
A closer study of the car shows the need for an upgraded suspension system. The travel range for a single battery charge could be improved.
Better safety and comfort for passengers could be developed. IndusElectra could be the perfect amswer to the eternal quest for cheaper commuting options,