Electric vehicles are the hot topic these days. Understandably so. While the world is collectively moving towards an electrified future, Indian vehicle manufacturers are putting their fledgling step as well. Case in point is E-Trio, a Telangana-based start-up. The company has adopted a new method to the electrification of vehicles. Instead of building new vehicles with electric powertrains, E-Trio is refurbishing conventional fueled with battery technology. Moreover, the company has now started rolling out its first batch of converted electric vehicles. Let’s learn more about the E-Trio electric vehicle in detail.
E-Trio electric vehicle conversion details
E-Trio first up is India’s only company (claimed) to have received certification from ARAI to convert petrol/diesel cars to electric vehicles. Initially, the approval was for the Maruti Alto, WagonR and Swift Dzire. However, now the company has applied for more approvals which includes popular vehicles like the Indica, Santro, Verito and Ritz. Converting a pure petrol/diesel car will take around 36 hours. The time quote is up by 24 hours from the previously mentioned 12 hours. We believe the conversion process is a tad more complicated than what was envisaged by the company earlier.
Not only this, the kits are sourced from China and North Korea. Sathya Y, the CEO of E-Trio says that they are in the process of assembling battery packs on their own at the Telangana facility. This should perhaps bring down the cost of conversion of the vehicles, which currently starts at Rs 3 lakh.
The donor car is brought in by the customer while the RC endorsement as well as insurance will be taken care by E-Trio. An E-Trio electric vehicle like the Alto will have a range of 150km while the Swift Dzire is expected to run 180km on a full charge.
Sathya says that they are looking to increase the range to 230km in the near future. Fast charging is available as an option but will cost nearly Rs 2 lakh over the aforementioned sum. If a customer says that he wants more range, additional batteries are added but the cost goes up slightly as well. Similarly, if a customer says that he will be barely using the car, the range can be decreased by removing a few batteries.
Speaking of charging, the vehicles come with a regular charger than can be plugged in the customer’s home wall socket. A complete charge will be achieved in around 4-5 hours for smaller cars while for the sedans, it will take seven hours. If a customer were to leave the car for overnight charging, there is an auto cut-off provided.
What about the aftersales of the E-Trio electric vehicle
E-Trio has set up a dedicated service station for these vehicles. As it stands, electric vehicles require less maintenance as the number of moving parts compared to a conventional car are far less. So no more clutch plate changes, gear oil, engine oil and the likes. The IC engine is either sold off to local vendors or exported to other countries. Moreover, if the customer wants the engine back in his car, E-Trio says that can be done as well.
E-Trio is said to have extensively tested their electric kits on vehicles all across India. Not only this, the company has been working with leading charging companies across India for complete EV solution. Additionally, the company is concentrating on fleet electric sales at the moment as compared to retail sales. For this very reason, cab companies are being contacted.
Wasn’t modification of the vehicles banned by the government?
Yes, the ban still holds good. However, prior to any modification, if you have an approval from the governing body, one can still go ahead and make changes to the vehicles. The governing body in this case is ARAI and E-Trio says that they have an approval from them. So the conversion to electric vehicles can go on unhindered via E-Trio.
This sounds good. How do I get my vehicle converted to electric?
Get in touch with E-Trio first. Currently, they are servicing only vehicles in the south but are rapidly looking to expand into the northern part of India as well. A team will check the health of the vehicle and let you know about the procedure. Once done, a few forms will be signed and the conversion process starts. The team will also test the vehicle once it is out of the conversion bay. The RC and other formalities will be taken care off and you will be handed over the car.
Will my manufacturer warranty be void if I convert my car to electric?
Of course, it will. It is recommended that you get a car that is usually of five year of age and more to E-Trio for the conversion. The livery you see in the aforementioned images suggest that the car is an electric unit. It will also come with a green plate as well, signifying its electric roots. The FAME II scheme proposed by the government should give incentives to electric vehicles and this will be a big boost for the industry as well. Especially given that E-Trio here plans to cater to the fleet market primarily.