Chennai students design dual fuel vehicle

Monday, 30 December 2002, 08:00 Hrs   |    6 Comments
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A group of Chennai-based engineering students has designed a vehicle that it claims can operate on batteries as well as conventional fuel.

CHENNAI: The prototype, christened "Electura", is the brainchild of Srinath, R. Arvind, Loganatha Pandian and C. Sundu Kumar of the Bharath Institute of Science and Technology.

The students began the effort one-and-a-half years ago and were assisted by their professor, Prem Jaya Kumar.

Unlike other battery-powered vehicles, Electura also comes with a gearbox attachment as it can also be run on compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), petrol or even diesel.

"In the city, one can run the vehicle on petrol. On long distance drives, the electric battery can be switched on", explained Srinath.

"The gearbox gives extra traction and gradient crossing ability. It uses a 8-15 HP Dutch DC engine that was modified further."

The electric battery needs to be recharged after 80 km and enables the vehicle travel 60 km in an hour. Each recharge requires eight units of electricity, making the running cost 45 paise per km.

The fuel mode can be interchanged even when the vehicle is in motion.

The designers have applied for a patent and hope to popularise the vehicle on Chennai roads by next year.

"It is a design that can be customised easily and that is its biggest plus point", said Arvind.

Tamil Nadu produced the country's first battery operated buses developed by Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), Tiruchirapalli.

India's first alternative fuel engine was also tested in the state.

Chennai is also home to automobile giants like Ashok Leyland and carmakers Hyundai and Ford and two-wheeler major TVS.
Source: IANS

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