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Back to the Future

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Engine upgrades are a common way to reclaim old cars. Here’s another option—the electric engine
Power max output 144 volt | Top speed 120 kmph | Range 20 to 60 miles (3-4 miles per battery) | Batteries Lead-acid, 15 to 20 units

When Ford Model T rolled out, there were more electric cars than petrol ones. Today, you can reclaim you junked vehicle by returning to the trend—convert that old car into an electric vehicle (EV). To do this you don’t need a degree in engineering, like the four students who have already created India’s first tri-fuel car Trio (it runs on petrol, LPG and electricity). You can buy the solution online. You have two options. Either import the complete kit and screw it onto the ‘to be reclaimed vehicle’, or buy a very expensive tutorial that will tell you what to buy and how to engineer it. If you really want to reclaim that old Amby or Fiat, we suggest you go for the turnkey option. It will set you back by a maximum of Rs 3 lakh—batteries, shipping and taxes are extra. The batteries could set you back by another Rs 1 lakh. It is not cheap, but compared to a new electric car, it is economical. All you have to do is rip out the existing petrol/diesel engine, screw on the electric motor and install the driver controls. Just two simple warnings: this solution uses the existing machinery of the car and simply replaces the petrol engine with an electric motor. So, you can’t try it on those fancy new cars that are controlled via automotive computers. Second, don’t expect to go racing or vacationing with it. Great as it is, it is still a jugaad. Even though the top-end model claims to offer a top speed of 120 kmph, the range it will give a vehicle is 100 km, which could also be as low as 30 km. Details on e-volks.com.