Garages are certainly involved in the development story of his company’s innovation, which also happens to be a departure from software, its main area of expertise.
What started as a thought back in 2008 evolved through trial and error into a system that can be retrofitted to any vehicle at an average cost of Rs. 1 lakh.
The kit consists of a motor, batteries and a pulley that can be installed in a span of about six hours by mechanics who will be trained by a joint venture that KPIT Cummins has formed with auto parts maker Bharat Forge Ltd. Revolo is meant to work best in typical stop-and-go city traffic and allow cars to cruise at about 30km and hour in third gear without straining the engine.
Revolo works on the same principles as other hybrids, capturing kinetic energy that would otherwise be wasted when the brakes are applied. The pulley that helps turn the crankshaft is situated in the underbelly of the car and is connected to a motor under the hood. Power is transferred to three lead acid batteries in the boot that store the energy for later use.
Conventional hybrids have had a mixed reception in India. Fuel efficiency improves by 60%, while emissions are reduced by 35%, according to Arai tests.
The Revolo kit for a Maruti 800 or its equivalent will be available at Rs. 65,000 – 70,000, Pandit says. For a 3 – litre vehicle such as the Tata 207 light truck, the kit will cost about Rs. 15 lakh.
KIPT Cummins’ funders Pandit and Kishor patil were both chartered accountants
with Pune-based accountancy firm Kirtane Pandit and associates before they
ventured into information technology (IT). KIPT Cummins was built as a niche
IT firm with expertise in the automobile sector and ERP (Enterprise Resource
Planning) solutions. The key is to show customers they can save money.