Electric vehicles in India are yet to become as popular as the regular Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) powered cars. While the likes of Mahindra E2o and Reva before that never become very popular in the Indian market, the most affordable electric car in India currently the Tata Nexon EV, which costs Rs 14 lakhs for the base version, keeping it out of reach of many. Well, here is Hemank Dabhade, who converts ICE vehicle to EVs as hobby and part of research and development. To get an EV of his need, Hemank converted a Chevrolet Beat diesel to power it with an electric motor and the end result is extremely interesting and of course, first-of-its-kind. Details are shared on T-BHP.
Before starting, you should know that this vehicle has been tried and tested properly on the owner’s private test track. The owner also states that the vehicle has worked flawlessly, and that he’s in the process of getting it approved for road use by regulatory agencies.
The conversion job involves removing the 1.0-litre diesel engine that powers the Beat completely and replacing it with a new electric motor and a battery pack. However, the Beat EV has retained the stock transmission with a few changes to it. We will come back to it later.
Talking about the electric motor that can generate a maximum torque of 75 Nm and continuous torque of 26 Nm, which can take the car to 100 km/h of maximum speed. The drive layout remains the same and the clutch system has been replaced with functionality in the motor control unit (MCU) that also has a lot of other functions in the car.
The manual transmission only has two speeds now. All the other gears or speeds in the transmission have been removed and new lightweight blank sleeves have been put in place. It also takes care of the lubrication of the transmission. Starting the vehicle, the first gear is used but it can even start in the second gear. The torque is higher in the first gear and it also helps in climbing slopes. The transmission can be shifted from 1st to 2nd gear and vice-versa with the use of only gear shifter. The MCU matches the speed of the motor with the transmission to allow the gears to change.
Powering the Beat EV is a 15 KW battery pack, which is located in the place of the fuel tank. The battery pack also takes the space of the spare wheel and boot. The car gets regular charging system and a fast-charging system too. The charging inlet is located under the fuel cap. On a regular charging system, it takes about 6 hours to completely charge the car while on a fast charger, it takes only 45 minutes. The car returns a maximum of 115 km with the AC off and headlamp off while with the AC and headlamps, it returns about 95 km.
Seeing that this car has completed close to 50,000 km on private test tracks without any issue, the government should start relaxing the requirements for such vehicles.