Retro-fitted Hybrid kit in Honda Activa success story
This is the success story of doing something which well established players in Industry are still thinking of doing. Mr. Vipul Patel from Ahmedabad, Gujrat (India) having his own business of windmill manufacturing. During Covid’19 pandemic he was busy for almost 2 year in solving a very big problem of the middle class of India. Where the petrol prices are sky rocketing and becoming heavy for common man pocket the solution could be the use of electric powered two-wheelers. But that has it’s limitation in terms of the range. This problem is addressed by the innovation done by Mr, Vipul’s hybrid electric Honda Activa.
During his talk with BBC News Hindi Mr. Vipul said – this whole development process took around 1.5 to 2 years of time but now this sub-system can be fitted in any of the scooter (preferably in Honda Activa) with very less effort in short time like any external accessories.
Hybrid Electric Honda Activa
The moto was to develop a such vehicle which can run optimum range on battery but also should be capable of running on petrol. So, for developed hybrid system for the scooter the Battery range is 80km in single charge and once it discharge (or any point of time) can be charged through the power generating from the Activa internal combustion engine during running.
IIT-Hyderabad safety approved battery pack for Hybrid Honda Activa
The IIT Hyderabad has tested the Li-ion battery batch-wise and provided the safety certificate to use that. The Li-ion battery used in this retro fitment kit (for Hybrid Honda Activa) can be charged even by regular 15Amp. electric sockets in any home within the time period of 03 hrs. only. As per Mr. Vipul the battery can drive the scooter up to 80 km purely on battery.
We are very concern about the mileage of our vehicle and this innovation will bring smile on many faces because the running cost while running on the battery is 15paise/km.
During the long distance travel if the battery get discharge then this simply can be driven with it’s internal combustion engine. The switching is also smooth. Battery gets charge during it’s running on petrol. This self charging feature of Li-ion battery using IC engine power is similar to the technology used in any hybrid electric car in the market.
Fitment wise, without disturbing the original fitted engine the electrified kit can be integrated like an external accessories. The battery pack is designed in such a way that it’s hollow cavity type design easily accommodates into the under seat area of the scooter. This retro fitment kit can be placed either in under seat helmet storage compartment or in front location of the leg room area.
The battery and other part cost for this Hybrid Honda Activa retro fitment is INR 42000/-.
Two-wheelers manufacturers in India
The Indian two-wheeler industry is one of the biggest in the world where dozens of manufactures are operating.
Hero MotoCorp (HMCL) , Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) , Yamaha Motors, TVS Motors , Piaggio , Bajaj Auto , Suzuki . Apart from these mentioned there are several player in the market operating specially in the EV segment, like- Hero Electric, Ather Energy , Ampere Vehicles , Okinawa , Revolt Intellicorp , Nexzu Mobility (erstwhile Avan Motors) , Twenty Two Motors , Orxa Energies , Tork Motrs , Ultraviolette Automotive , Evolet Electric , DAO EVTech , Crayon Motors , Benling , Jitendra New EV Tech , Devot Motors , M2GO , Crayon , Omjay EV and many other.
Retro-fitment for two-wheelers (a new business)
A need or problem encourages creative efforts to meet the need or solve the problem and we also say the “Problem/Need is the mother of invention”. There are several startups and testing agencies now in India working towards the retro-fitment on conventional two-wheeler to convert that in electrical drive. The major component which need to add in this process are-
Hub motor : (800Watt to 1200Watt – one can go to higher rating as well depending on overall setup)
Motor controller: 48 or 60V
Throttle: digital or normal.
Swing arm (this need to replace or modify in the existing one to accommodate the hub motor mounting)
The conversion of petrol operated scooter/bike into hybrid technology is still new and only few such example similar to Mr. Vipul are now reached to it’s final stage of validation. As per Mr. Vipul , the battery safety is not a concern in his scooter as it is approved by IIT Hyderabad and the whole drive experience is very unique because you are no longer hungry for fossil fuel. This conversion kit is now available in may states of India on the very initial and one time cost of INR 42,000/- along with fitment free fitment service.
Update on Honda plan for e-Scooter in India
Here we clarify that above mentioned news is not anyway associated with HMSI or it’s official statement. Honda has put it’s vision for Indian recently.
On April 21, 2022: Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) announced its progress towards Business Transformation for Future and Alternative Mobility. Parallely, the company aims to further strengthen its Manesar (Haryana) plant as a Global Resource Factory for ‘Making in India for the world’.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Atsushi Ogata – Managing Director, President & CEO, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India said, “Bringing the synergies of Honda’s global expertise with strong indigenous support, HMSI will further expand its horizons in India. A staggered implementation of flex-fuel technology and multiple EV model introduction in future will lead to an exciting journey ahead. HMSI also plans to enter low-end motorcycle segment while boosting its new fun models’ business in domestic markets. Parallely expanding its wings overseas, HMSI aims to serve more developed countries with its highest level of global quality standards”
HMSI also plans multiple EV model introduction in the coming years while leveraging support from Honda’s other subsidiaries in the country. At present, the company is in its feasibility-study stage for readying its EV model line-up and developing the overall eco-system in India.
Note: Source for the images and vides are from BBC Hindi News only.