Altigreen Propulsion Labs, a Bengaluru-based startup, with Chetan Maini of Reva on its board, is currently developing an aftermarket hybrid system for cars.
The aftermarket kit includes a 5kW generator motor, an ECU, and a 48V battery pack. The whole package is expected to cost around Rs. 60,000, and it can be retrofitted by removing the alternator and fixing a 55kg battery in the boot.
The primary component of the system is a custom-made motor generator that uses a combination of a brushless and induction motors, to provide the best of both worlds.
The induction motor gives it good start-up torque while the brushless motor helps the car accelerate better at a higher powerband.
However, the software that tells the motor exactly when to charge via regenerative braking, and when to wind the other way is the real groundbreaker. Once fitted, the hybrid system will void your car's warranty, and this is why Altigreen will focus on supplying the app-based taxi market.
CEO Amitabh Saran, an ex-NASA employee, added that the hybrid system would improve the fuel economy of a car by more than 20 percent. The final product isn't fully ready, and tests are still in beta, the product named HyPixi, is expected to hit the market in coming months.