Back in 2018, when the trend of EVs was just beginning, Bosch had proposed a solution to convert a Maruti Baleno into an EV (electric car). It was a project by Bosch as a proof of concept when the Government was asking the carmakers to come up with ways to convert the old regular IC engine-powered cars into EVs. Bosch came up with the solution of retrofitting a test vehicle (Maruti Baleno) with an electric motor to test how it will drive around. Let us take a look at the details of this initiative.
2018 Maruti Baleno EV
As per the directions of the Government to try to retrofit old cars with electric motors, Bisch fitted this Maruti Baleno with an 84 kW electric motor. This motor belts out 200 Nm of peak torque. What is more interesting is the instant torque boost, as is the case with all EVs. The test vehicle is doing rounds in a testing circuit. Bosch had retrofitted the electric motor and a 10 kWh Lithium-Ion battery pack on this demo car. This was a great initiative by Bosch, which is one of the largest automobile electronics and mobility solution companies in the world.
The need for such solutions is quite obvious. With fuel prices skyrocketing and the environmental pollution laws becoming more stringent with each passing day, the need for electrification is inevitable. The prime concerns with the EVs, at the moment, are manufacturing cost, range anxiety and charging infrastructure. These are issues that can’t be resolved overnight and will take years to tackle. In the meanwhile, solutions like hybrid and such retrofitted electric powertrains on regular vehicles are not bad solutions.
The Government is offering huge subsidies in various states to encourage people to buy electric cars. The charging infrastructure is also developing quite rapidly. The next few years could witness a paradigm shift in the outlook of the EV situation in India. Hybrid systems are also becoming more and more common with modern vehicles to reap some benefits of modern electronics. Additionally, the Government has also proposed to cut down India’s fuel imports by at least 20% by 2025. The way to achieve this is to use E20 fuel. E20 translates to a 20% ethanol blend in regular petrol fuel. Maruti Baleno EV in 2018 is simply one example of how our immediate future could look like.