Adding another feather to its already-embellished hat, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is working hard to bring India closer to its all-electric car dream by 2030. The high energy lithium-ion batteries that ISRO developed for use on spacecrafts, the Indian space agency is now transferring the technology to the Indian automobile industry. These batteries will be used to manufacture solar hybrid electric cars in India.
In fact, the agency even demonstrated a successful test drive of a solar hybrid electric car using the technology. ISRO confirmed that the test was conducted in March this year, where the solar hybrid electric car successfully managed an uphill drive. The demonstration was conducted using a recycled Maruti Suzuki Omni. The car was designed and developed with in-house expertise at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).
How it works?
ISRO used a recycled Maruti Suzuki Omni for the demonstration. The engineers at the agency fitted a solar panel on roof of the car, and used a super-capacitor, an integral gear-box and control electronics for the battery and solar panel, and drive electronics. ISRO also added an electric motor in the Omni which is actually an internal combustion engine (ICE) based vehicle. ALSO READ: 63-year-old Bengaluru man travels 3,000 km in self-made solar-powered car
The car was equipped with Lithium-ion batteries connected across high power density super-capacitors which supplied energy to get the car running. While the batteries sustained energy requirement, the super-capacitors helped maintain peak power demand. The solar panel placed on the rooftop uses sunlight to transfer energy to the batteries. To convert this energy to mechanical energy, a power conversion module between the energy system and electric motor was used.
Now, after the successful completion of the test drive of the vehicle, ISRO is believed to be working on ways to minimize the car’s cost. “Transportation has gained a great deal of importance in the growth of modern society by fulfilling the needs of mobility in everyday life. But vehicles using fossil fuels persistently bring serious problems to environment and life. Research and development activities constantly emphasize the acute need to develop high-efficiency, clean and safe transportation systems,” ISRO says on its website. ALSO READ: ISRO’s solar hybrid electric car completes successful test drive
ISRO’s development of these lithium-ion batteries elevates naturally towards India’s ambitious plan of making India a 100 percent electric vehicle nation by 2030. Presently, the automotive industry in the country is worth $74 billion, and at this current rate, the industry is poised to become the third-largest auto market in the world by the end of the current fiscal. Besides, the government wants to see 6 million electric and hybrid vehicles on the roads by 2020 under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 and Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME).