According to Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot, only certified manufacturers of EV kits will be offered by the state government. The selection of the EV kits is done by ‘test agencies’. Each car gets its own EV kit certification as they all come in different sizes. A similar case arose in 1998 when the Supreme Court ruled that diesel transport buses in Delhi should be taken off the road or retrofitted with CNG kits. But again, the certification process for individual car models will make the task more challenging and time-consuming for EV kit manufacturers.
How is a diesel car converted into an EV?
First, the diesel car is stripped of all ICE components: engine, fuel tank, exhaust and powertrain. Then only the chassis, the forearm, etc. remain. This is followed by the installation of an electric motor and battery pack. The original EVs have a battery pack placed across the floor, but the same isn’t possible for diesel retrofits. They will have the battery pack wherever they can. In addition, the conversion kit also requires a power controller to regulate the energy flow, a charging system that allows the flow of electricity to the Li-on batteries, and a few other tweaks. A transmission adapter kit, a controller and a heat sink are required to keep the controller cool.
EV retrofitting is great for the rapid development of EV space in India and could slowly become an option to switch to electric. There are several start-ups such as Loop Moto, Altigreen, North Way Motor and other players such as Bosch, a major component manufacturer for global EV manufacturers. While the start-ups have yet to be certified by state regulators and testing agencies, they could become popular and will be the first people to approach. However, these start-ups have settled into lighter and smaller vehicles and SUV retrofits, and the costs involved remain to be seen.