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After three years of research and development by a team of students and professors led by Prof. Dr. Vikranth Racherla, IIT Kharagpur has recently developed an indigenous electric three-wheeler ‘Deshla’.
According to Prof. Racherla, the Deshla can be charged at home and can be driven at a maximum speed of 50 km per hour. It is a fully indigenous model and designed in the campus of IIT as a city passenger vehicle.
After successful, test on the road, IIT Kharagpur team now aims to raise funds for its commercial production. Explaining his new innovation, Prof. Racherla said,
The road test of Deshla is very encouraging. It’s very comfortable, easy to drive, and jerk-free. We have built this from scratch.
There are independent suspensions used on back wheels of Deshla which have rigid axles as in trucks. The vehicle is far more stable and jerk-free on bad roads in contrast to the three-wheelers in the market at present.
Salient features of Deshla
It uses lithium-iron-phosphate batteries that last for 6-7 years. Toto’s have lead-acid batteries that have a life cycle of 9-10 months at the most and need to be replaced at a cost of Rs 20,000-25,000 every time. Deshla’s batteries are more expensive but given their long life, it gains in the cost-benefit analysis. Besides, they provide uniform power delivery, unlike lead-acid batteries. As a result, the pick-up and performance of Totos get consistently sluggish, while Deshla gives uniform performance.
Totos’ lead-acid batteries provide less amperage and they can serve only up to 1 kW motor. Deshla’s battery can provide a higher amperage and easily powers the 3.5 kW motor, which in turn provides more torque and therefore higher speed. Deshla can travel at a peak speed of 50 km/hr.
Deshla’s back wheels have independent suspension, as in cars and unlike in Totos, which have rigid axles, as in trucks. This means that the Deshla is far more stable and jerk-free on bad roads.
Unlike the handlebar in Totos and autos, Deshla has a steering wheel that works on gear mechanism with high mechanical advantage. This was a conscious decision of the team to make it impossible for the vehicle to make very sharp turns which autos are infamous for. The gear mechanism allows for only one-way motion. So bad roads will not automatically turn the steering wheel of Deshla as they do to the handlebars of Totos and autos.
Hydraulic braking instead of mechanical braking is used for more effective braking.
Unlike the Totos, which have their mechanical and electrical components shipped from China and assembled here, Deshla is completely indigenous. The EVG team of IIT Kharagpur has created the embedded and power electronics subsystems like BMS (battery management system), Motor Controller, Battery Charger, GPS and 3G Cellular connectivity modules in-house. This means the Deshla will be more reliable, easy to service/repair, and customizable.
IIT Kharagpur Team
Around 50 students from various backgrounds have been associated with this project since its inception three years back. Two students who graduated in 2018 have even stayed back on campus to steer the project together with Prof. Vikranth Racherla.
The IIT Kharagpur team said that they can produce two models with regard to the seating capacity- one is the ‘3+1’ model and second is ‘6+1’ model.
With its powerful motor, a lithium-ion battery that can last up to 7 (seven) years, high load carrying capacity, sturdy frame and yet easy maneuverability, Deshla is a better option than diesel-guzzling, polluting autos and the flimsy and high-maintenance Totos. It is not only clean and green, but also steals a march on both when it comes to safety, reliability, performance, and comfort. Deshla’s batteries are more expensive but given their long life, it gains in the cost-benefit analysis. Besides, they provide uniform power delivery unlike lead-acid batteries.
The institute has developed in-house the embedded and power electronics subsystems such as battery management system, motor controller, battery charger, GPS and 3G cellular connectivity modules.
Replying to a question on the arrangement of fund for commercial launch, Prof. Rachrela said the IIT team have already set up a startup to raise around Rs 3 crore of seed funding to make the final commercial product and receive the necessary formal certification from the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).
Source: The KHP Chronicle
The post Deshla: IIT Kharagpur team rolls out first indigenous electric three-wheeler appeared first on Urban Transport News.
This article first appeared on urbantransportnews.com
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