We all know and love the budget-friendly, fully-loaded Renault Kwid but now, this little hatchback has been modified into a hybrid-electric vehicle.
First launched in 2015, the entry-level Renault Kwid got a welcome face-lift last year and is currently available in South Africa with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine. Abroad, the automaker has also produced a 799 cc three-cylinder petrol engine which has now been modified into a hybrid-electric vehicle.
Engineering Students Help Develop The Hybrid-Electric Renault Kwid
A group of students who graduated from Rajagiri School of Engineering in 2018 converted a Maruti 800 into an electric vehicle sporting a 50-km range. They took this modified car to several expos and got the recognition they deserved, in particular from Iype Koshy.
Iype Koshy came across their project and decided to set up a company, HyMotiv, to specialise in converting cars into hybrid vehicles. While an electric Renault Kwid already made its debut at the Auto Expo in February, the team at HyMotiv wants to showcase their skills with a hybrid-electric version.
They decided to keep the Renault Kwid’s petrol engine but added electric motors in the rear wheels to transform the car into a hybrid. Now, the Renault Kwid can run solely on petrol, electric power or combination of both.
Renault Kwid Hybrid-Electric Vehicle Specifications And Performance
The 53 hp petrol engine produces the same output as the conventional Renault Kwid but the 34 hp motors in the rear wheels provide additional power. They have also fitted disc brakes to all four wheels which have significantly improved braking power.
In terms of range in fully-electric mode, the Renault Kwid can go approximately 150 km. While the batteries are currently sourced from China, HyMotive aims to replace these with ones made in India. The motors contribute around 65% of the car’s total power while also responsible for most of the traction.
The team has also added a synchronizer which further helps balance the speed between the front and rear wheels. When combining the mileage between the petrol engine and electric motors, you get a mammoth 48 km/l.
If that’s not enough to impress even the staunchest of critics, HyMotiv has also installed a pollution reduction mechanism to reduce emissions by 60% while improving the mileage by 20%. The team has already filed a patent for their innovation.
How Long Does It Take To Charge The Battery?
The battery on the hybrid-electric Renault Kwid takes just 5 hours for a full charge through a standard wall-mounted charger. This time will be significantly reduced when using a fast-charger. The hybrid Renault Kwid has an electric motor drive selector on the dashboard which is automatically set to ICE mode. When needed, drivers can manually change it to EV-only mode or Hybrid mode.
With the future of autonomous driving in mind, the team at HyMotiv is also working on a ‘fatigue detection system’ which includes smart spectacles to detect when drivers close their eyes. The first warning is a vibration in the spectacles while the second level alarm is a loud warning sound from the speakers.
The next step is to add functionality to monitor brain waves which will further improve the accuracy of their fatigue detection system.
In conclusion, the Renault Kwid Hybrid-Electric vehicle is a tremendous effort at localised modifications but it is not commercially ready and probably won’t be for some time. However, we should applaud the efforts of these entrepreneurs not only for the sheer innovation but also the vision to help change the future of motoring.
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