Delhi government recently started to delist old vehicles from RTO after implementing an order from NGT to deregister 15 year old petrol and 10 year old diesel vehicles in the capital. According to official estimates, there are around 1.5 lakh diesel vehicles in the city that have completed 10 years. The number of petrol vehicles older than 15 years is much larger at over 28 lakh. While re-registering your vehicles outside Delhi is one option, Delhi govt has also given an option to keep the vehicles running after retrofitting them with EV kits. Automobile experts say that retrofitting of old diesel and petrol cars and four-wheelers cost Rs 3-5 lakh depending on battery capacity and range.
The retrofitting of two and three-wheelers cost less depending on the type of battery and manufacturers, they said. Delhi Govt recently started empanelling authorized companies for retrofitting and one such company is GoGoA1. GoGoA1 has established themselves as one of the leading companies in the EV conversion segment. We got in touch with Shrikant Shinde, CEO and Founder GoGoA1 to understand the retrofitting in detail. Here’s our conversation:
Also read: World Environment Day 2022 – Benefits of Electric Vehicles on climate change and why you should buy one?
What is EV retrofitting?
EV retrofitting means to convert existing petrol or diesel run vehicles into an electric vehicle. The process involves changing the original engine and other related components and a new alternative energy source to be transplanted into the existing vehicle body. It can either be an additional system added to the existing vehicle motor or to completely replace the existing engine with a new motor and drivetrain. All other components remain the same on the vehicle, which makes it easier to replace or repair parts like suspension, brakes, headlights, etc.
What are the benefits of EV retrofitting?
GoGoA1 are the leaders in EV retrofitting and we have seen many benefits of EV retrofitting like Zero Pollution, Less number of parts needed to produce the drivetrain as compared to a petrol or diesel fuel which are made from nearly 350 parts, it is cost effective, zero sound pollution, heat is not generated, no vibrations, reduction of noise pollution. With the recent rule of scrapping 10-15 year old vehicles, the main benefit of retrofitting is increasing the lifespan of your vehicle especially if the vehicle is in good running condition so there is no need to compulsory retire your vehicle. When the consumption of fossil fuel has reduced, the imports of fuel will be stopped, which will automatically control the air pollution, and with the vehicles being retrofitted new job opportunities are being generated for the EV industry.
What vehicle types you cater to?
We cater to bicycles, all 2 wheelers & 3 wheelers and soon we will be starting EV retrofitting for 4 wheelers and commercial vehicles as well. Indians use their vehicles for a long time, and they have a particular fondness to them like it is part of the family. So selling them after 5-7 years is not normal in our country. Vehicles in India are constructed with our roads in mind, hence they are very study so retrofitting them, will not only increase the vehicles life span, but it will also help in reducing pollution, decreasing fuel imports, reducing maintenance costs helping the economy along with keeping the same qualities of a sturdy vehicle.
EV retrofitting vis-à-vis CNG kit
In a CNG vehicle, the main part of the car i.e the engine and the transmission doesn’t change, and with the option of running it on fuel if the gas runs out, creating pollution is still a key factor. The maintenance cost of the engine remains the same, along with the costs of oils, cables, etc. To fill CNG in the vehicle, you have to take it to a pump, which is less in number and where trained individuals only can fill the gas. Electric vehicles can be charged at home, are low on maintenance, and easy to ride.
What about safety of vehicles?
When retrofitting at GoGoA1, we do not tamper with the existing and original safety features of the vehicle. The retrofit EV kits are tested more than the kits used for new bikes or cars. Transport department is more conscious and safety oriented when it comes to retrofit EV kits. RTO gives permissions to only those retrofitting agencies who are following the strict standards laid down. EV retrofitting is conducted at RTO approved centers only following all the safety norms. EV vehicles are a lot safer than CNG vehicles as the batteries are thoroughly tested and only then given approval to be used on the vehicles.
How expensive is retrofitting?
Retrofitting is not that expensive, it is actually cheaper than the new vehicle as the consumer already has his own vehicle, all he has to do is put on the conversion kit and battery. The cost of retrofitting the vehicle will be around 70% of the cost of the brand new EV. The cost of buying the petrol of your car and bike is a lot more than the cost needed to charge the EV. GST plays a big part in the higher cost of the kit as of now. We have appealed to the government that the GST should be brought down to 5% from existing 18%, this will enable us to reach out to a wide range of consumers who will benefit from EV retrofitting.
What’s the future?
Currently GoGoA1 is into conversion of 2 wheelers and 3 wheeler vehicles. We soon will be launching EV conversion kits for 4 wheelers and commercial vehicles like trucks and buses. We also are conducting trials for EV swapping stations which will bring the cost down more of the EV retrofit bikes and cars. There are more projects which are under the approval process, which we will unveil in time.