You can turn your old diesel car into an electric vehicle, here’s how

The Delhi government recently introduced a new law to take 10-year-old diesel vehicles off the road. But car owners can retrofit EV kits to bring them back to life.

Highlights
  • Delhi government recently introduced a law that doesn’t allow diesel vehicles older than 10 years to be run on public roads.
  • Only certified EV kit makers will be offered by the Delhi state government.
  • EV retrofitting kit is not entirely free to install as there’s an EV battery, charging station, and more.

Delhi recently introduced a law that doesn’t allow diesel vehicles older than 10 years to run on public roads. This is a move to reduce the air pollution in Delhi, which is among the highest in the country. This comes as troubling news for old diesel car owners, but there is a silver lining. Diesel cars older than 10 years will still be able to run on roads provided they are retrofitted with an electric vehicle powertrain. This not only allows the car owners to secure their possessions but also helps them enter the growing EV ecosystem. However, the EV kit is not entirely free to install as there’s an EV battery, charging station, and more. This move can be attributed to the aftermarket EV retrofitting companies/start-ups stepping into the EV game.

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According to Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot, only certified EV kit makers will be offered by the state government. The selection of the EV kits will be done by ‘testing agencies’. Each car will receive its own EV kit certification considering they are all of different sizes. A similar case happened back in 1998 when the Supreme Court ruled that diesel transportation busses in Delhi be either taken off the road or retrofitted with CNG kits. But then again, the certification process for individual car models will make the task more challenging and time-consuming for EV kit makers.

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How will a diesel car be converted to an EV?

Firstly, the diesel car will be stripped of all the ICE components-engine, fuel tank, exhaust, and drivetrain. This leaves only the chassis, lower arm, and etc. This is followed by the installation of an electric motor and battery pack. The original EVs will have a battery pack placed across the floorboard but the same is not possible for diesel retrofitting. They will have the battery pack wherever they can accommodate. Additionally, the conversion kit also requires a power controller to regulate the flow of energy, a recharging system that will allow the flow of electricity to the Li-on batteries, and a few other tweaks. A transmission adapter kit, a controller, and a chill plate are needed 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 shift to electric. There are various start-ups like Loop Moto, Altigreen, North Way Motor, and other players like Bosch which is a key component manufacturer for global EV manufactures. Though the start-ups are yet to be certified by the state regulatory authorities and test agencies, they might become popular and will be the first that people will approach. However, these start-ups have established themselves for lighter and smaller vehicles and retrofitting SUVs, and the expenses involved is something that remains to be seen.