The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) has set up a centre of excellence of green mobility at Chakan in Pune. With an investment of Rs 100 crore, the facility was set up in a record time of 18 months and is part of the government’s National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. ARAI is all set to meet the fundamental shifts in the design and use of energy systems by the automobile industry as the shift to green mobility begins.
The centre has the capability of testing, validating, certifying and developing green powertrain solutions and this includes electric as well as other alternative fuels including CNG, ethanol, methanol, biofuels, hydrogen and in future fuel cells, Anand Deshpande, senior deputy director, ARAI, said. ARAI already had some of these in the existing laboratories but with this new centre everything has been consolidated in the new facility and further added additional test cells, equipment and development facilities to make it logistically easier for companies, Deshpande said.
“Between the two facilities, we will be able to handle the load better,” he said. Established in association with the Department of Heavy Industries (DHI) and Fame India Scheme, the centre will provide testing and development of green mobility solutions. ARAI is a testing and certifying body and this new facility houses several testing facilities to meet the expected rise in demand in green mobility.
With the latest upgradation, virtually all electric and hybrid vehicles — in any condition — can be tested in ARAI’s accredited and advanced laboratories. Desphande said they have also proposed to add specialised test cells and research into engines powered by hydrogen fuel and fuel cells in future. The proposed hydrogen test cell will house a 350 kw transient dynamometer for development testing and certification of hydrogen engines and can test 4 to 6-cylinder engines for passenger cars, SUVs, LCVs and HCVs cell.
The facility has an electric motor test bed of 30, 150 and 250 kw catering to all vehicle types. It is also equipped for testing and development of charging stations catering to all types of vehicles. It has battery emulators with 100 kw and 250 kw to facilitate emulation of various battery chemistries and act as a battery pack for electric vehicles while testing on chassis dynamometer.
The Battery Test System can test the durability and performance of battery cells, modules and packs along with characterisation and testing of super caps, nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion batteries. The facility also has engine test system for emission certification/development testing of automotive, tractor, CEV engine — for engine power ranging from 20 kw to 500 kw. The facility is also equipped with Transient Dynamometers, ranging from 220 kw to 600 kw, to cater to the certification as well as development and testing of alternate fuel engines running on biodiesel, CNG, LPG, diesel, gasoline and blends.
Arjun Ram Meghwal, minister of state for heavy industries and public enterprises, inaugurated the ARAI Green Mobility Centre at ARAI – Chakan in Pune. Meghwal said technology will not stop and it will come in all sectors and if India wants to be a leader in the 21st century then it will have to adopt these technologies.
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