Bizarre spottings are not unusual on Indian roads. We get to see many uncommon vehicles on the roads and with the electric vehicle revolution starting to gain pace, we are ought to spot some bizarre electric vehicles as well. Here is a Tata Nexon EV, India’s best selling electric car with a windmill on the top! What is happening here?
The Nexon EV was spotted in Surat Gujarat with a makeshift windmill on its roof. We are not sure what the owner is trying to achieve here but the set-up indicates that somehow they want to tap the wind energy on the moving Tata Nexon EV and charge the batteries to extend the range.
The set-up does look interesting and seems like a job done by an amateur for a school or college project. Nonetheless, let us break it to you that this set-up will not work and it is not as practical as it looks.
Why is it a bad idea??
For various reasons. First of all, we are not sure about the capacity of this windmill but it is definitely not producing enough to charge the battery of the car. Second, the set-up looks cumbersome and it will make the Tata Nexon EV less efficient.
Just like the ICE cars, electric cars also deliver lower mileage with higher weight. The motor has to do extra work to move the vehicle ahead with the extra weight and that consumes more battery bringing down the overall range.
Also, windmills are not efficient enough to generate high voltage currents. The commercial windmills that you see in windmill farms generate about 1.5 kW of power and even that is optimum and depends on factors like the speed of the wind. A small windmill on the top of the car will certainly not generate enough power to recharge the batteries.
Windmill set-up also increases the overall drag in the car. Car manufacturers spend a lot of money to come up with aerodynamic designs that help the car to increase fuel efficiency and face lower wind resistance. As the windmill works by creating a resistance to the flowing air, the overall drag increases.
Again, with a higher drag coefficient, the range of the car will come down as the motor will have to fight against the wind as well. That is why most expensive vehicles and even Formula1 cars are designed to be highly aerodynamic.
The best possible way to increase the range of the EV is to drive slow, just like any other car powered by fossil fuel. Keep the right foot light and the regeneration on the highest level to get the maximum range out of the EV. Yes, there are a few prototype vehicles that use solar panels to feed the batteries but they are just prototypes and won’t be able to accommodate your family.