Diesel three-wheeler converted to electric: How to get yours done at Adarin Hybrids

Adarin Hybrids takes less than a day to transform a smoke belching rickshaw or truck to one running on batteries and electricity.

By:Updated: February 13, 2020 11:58:05 AM

Adarin Hybrids (a SHADO Group company), was recently in the news when they came up with a fast charging solution for electric vehicles and launching launched an electric rickshaw three-wheeler. The company is again in the news now. They have converted a diesel garbage three-wheeler to electric. Yes, it has been done so many times in the past year that, you will wonder how it is a news anyways. The news here is that the garbage three-wheeler fleet owner himself approached Adarin Hybrids for this. The contractor, Srinivas Gowda, has a bunch of diesel-powered garbage three-wheelers (such as the one shown above) plying in the wards in Bangalore. He, himself, drives a Hyundai Kona EV and it is very evident why he wants to convert his garbage trucks to electric. Srinivas says that this drivers often complain of fatigue, pollution and other things when they wait for a household help to deposit garbage in the truck. To help eliminate all these and at the same time, ensure that the future stays green, he decided to go for this conversion.

Srinivas says that he read some article and came to know about Adarin Hybrids. So, he contacted them to replace a diesel engine in one of his vehicles with an electric one and they provided him with a charging point too. This was a pilot program to see how it would work and measure the performance of the vehicle. In all, it took Adarin one day to convert the vehicle. Overall, Srinivas is very happy with the vehicle performance and says that, despite the vehicle weighing 710kg plus a load of 500kg plus driver load (total of 1.3 tonnes), it performed on a par with conventional diesel vehicles. The hilly Bangalore terrain, including climbing 18-degree gradients with a full load, was another test that the truck completed with ease.

Apart from all this, Adarin Hybrids also provided a charging infrastructure too. Srinivas was provided with a number of Drop Charging solutions. This, Srinivas says, was able to re-charge the batteries ‘vehicle-to-vehicle’. This means charging anywhere in the city, within five minutes and the vehicle is ready to go again. Additional charging options include a mobile battery pack, a fixed point or an off-grid solar-powered point. Given the fact that he hasn't spent a dime on maintenance post the conversion is noteworthy. It is speculated that the conversion cost close to Rs 3 lakh, though there is no confirmation from either Adarin or Srinivas. The range is claimed to be around 30km as these garbage trucks barely cover that much distance in a day – operating in a two-kilometre radius. The range was also something that Srinivas had requested Adarin Hybrids.

Express Drives happened to have a chat with Saurabh Markandeya, the CTO of Adarin Hybrids. Saurabh has a small workshop right below his office. Here, one can see two autorickshaw prototypes as well as a Nano (Work-in-Progress). Saurabh owns the Nano and he is keen on getting it converted to, well you guessed it, an electric. There are about 15 employees that work with Saurabh. All these employees handle different aspects of the electrification including testing. An employee was kind enough to take me and Saurabh in an e-rickshaw that has a 70km range. The vehicle felt very much like a conventional unit, save for the lack of sound. Saurabh says that they are still fine-tuning it with respect to suspension components.

As a company, Saurabh says that they are playing the role of an ecosystem. Something that is tech-supported and also enables micro-entrepreneurship. Providing the technology including battery packs and charging stations is what Adarin Hybrids is all about. IoT connectivity too can be dialled in, if required. All this comes at an annual maintenance cost to the customer. 30 per cent operating cost is saved by adopting EVs.

On asked if the required clearances were obtained, Saurabh says that they are working closely with the Bangalore municipality. This will help them in getting the formalities as well as RC endorsements have done pretty quickly. As of now, the garbage truck is within the city limits and the authorities are aware that it is being done as a pilot project.

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