Northway, which is a Pune-based EV conversion garage has done some fantastic conversions in the past. They are back with a brand-new iteration and it is unique as it carries forward the manual transmission from the stock car. This is probably the only electric car in India with a manual transmission gearbox. So how does it work? Hemank Dhabade, Director, Northway has explained the same in this video.
This EV conversion is based on a brand-new Maruti Suzuki Ignis. While the details like the battery capacity and motor output are not mentioned, the main highlight of this conversion is the manual transmission with the electric motor. Yes, the car retains the clutch and the manual transmission, probably making it the only electric car with a multi-speed manual transmission in India.
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The idea behind using the multi-speed manual transmission in EV
Electric cars eliminate the need for multi-speed gear as the motor can go as low as zero rpm without switching off. The idea is to provide multiple gear ratios for different conditions. For example, in the lower gears, the car will accelerate much quicker and is ideal for city driving conditions. The higher gear ratios will use power and will allow the car to cruise at decent speeds on the highways or open roads.
This Ignis EV also comes with a battery regeneration system and in lower gear ratios, the regeneration increases and vice-versa. Mr Dhabade shows how one can quickly shift from a higher gear to lower gear to ensure that vehicle’s regeneration is at the optimum limit. If done right, it also eliminates the requirement of using the brakes to slow down.
The car can start from any gear ratio – be it first or fourth. The selected gear ratio simply changes the way the car accelerates. The clutch comes into play when trying to shift the gear when the vehicle is on the move. Since electric cars do not offer a stick shift, this is the way to attract enthusiasts. The manual transmission really adds to the fun to drive an electric car. One can also use the stick shift to drive the Ignis EV as a manual car.
While you may confuse this manual transmission with the modes that electric vehicles offer, it is not the same. The modes in OEM electric vehicles restrict the power from the motor while this set-up changes the gear ratios without fiddling with the electric motor.
Fully-working Maruti Suzuki Ignis
This is a brand-new car that Northway has used for the project. Everything in the car works including the climate control system, electric power steering, infotainment system, power windows and all other features. Interestingly, the Indian government has allowed old petrol and diesel cars to operate in Delhi-NCR even after completing 15 and 10 years respectively. However, one needs to convert the old vehicles to electric cars before one can continue using them.
Northway has developed multiple kits for the vehicles that can be installed in cars like Chevrolet Beat, Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Maruti Suzuki Ignis and many other cars that you can find on the official website of Northway.
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