Electric cars and scooters have slowly caught people’s attention across the country and many mainstream car manufacturers have started offering EVs too. For example in India, Tata Nexon EV is the most popular electric SUV and manufacturers like MG, Hyundai, and Kia also has electric cars in the market. Even luxury car manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, and Jaguar offer electric cars in India. Maruti Suzuki which is India’s largest car manufacturer, however does not offer any electric car yet. Here we have a video where a regular petrol-powered by Maruti Suzuki Zen hatchback has been modified into an EV.
The video has been uploaded by Shivuz Garage on their YouTube channel. In this video, vlogger shows a Maruti Zen hatchback that has been neatly converted into an electric car by a local workshop. Vlogger starts by giving a walkaround of the car and then he speaks to the person behind this creation. Maruti Zen was one of the popular hatchbacks among youngsters back in the day. Over the years, Maruti updated the model and later it was discontinued too. The Jelly-Bean shaped car had a huge fanbase and even today, a well-maintained example will fetch you good money.
The car looks just like a regular Zen on the outside. As part of the conversion, the headlamps, turn indicators and tail lamps were all replaced with LED lights. This was done because LED lights consume less energy. The front grille was retained and so were the wheels. Moving in, there is a switch on the right hand side of the steering wheel which does the job of gear selector. A digital meter has been placed on the dashboard that shows the charge remaining in the batteries. Other than that, the original gear box has been removed as it does not have an engine anymore.
Like any electric car in the market, this Zen electric also gets an automatic transmission. The clutch pedal is missing and other than that, the car gets power window switches on the centre console. The batteries are placed under the bonnet as well as in the boot of the car. As this car was actually designed to be an ICE vehicle, the workshop cannot make changes to accommodate the batteries under the floor like modern EVs, The electric motor is also placed under the bonnet and it powers the front wheels. The batteries used in this Zen electric are lead-acid units and this was done in order to keep the cost of conversion low.
Video mentions that the cost of conversion depends up on customers requirement. If a person wants more range from an EV, he will have to add more batteries which would cost more. The cost would come down if the owner does not want too much range. The car seen here has a top-speed of 80-85 kmph with only driver in it. The speed comes down to 70-75 when it is fully loaded. The car has a driving range of almost 100 km and the batteries can be fully charged with 7-8 hours using a regular 15 Amp charger.