Designed In India, Prototyped In India, Made in India — Shalendra Gupta, Co-Founder & CFO, Altigreen
The Indian automotive industry, along with other countries around the worlds is moving away from Internal Combustion (IC) engines. India is promoting the use of electric and hybrid vehicles to save the air. Although infrastructure for the use of such vehicles is at a nascent stage, an increasing number of new car buyers are considering electric vehicles. Hybrid vehicles are a good alternative too, but what is shying away customers is the prices post-GST, that have made hybrid vehicles expensive. But one company, nestled away in the industrial area of Bangalore, Whitefield, has come up with an ingenious solution to turn any vehicles to a hybrid one. Wait, what?
That’s right, Altigreen, a startup based in Bangalore has come up with something called the Hybrid Power Intelligent Exchange Drive (HyPixi) system, that can turn any vehicle that uses a traditional IC engine into a hybrid vehicle. The retrofit – HyPixi – is approved by ARAI, and tests have proved an increase in mileage and reduction of pollution.
DriveSpark recently had an opportunity to speak with Shalendra Gupta, the Co-Founder and CFO of Altigreen, to know more and clear doubts that most of you already have. Let’s get on with the conversation.
Firstly, why choose to go for a hybrid system instead of something fully electric?
Everything we do is electric, our systems, research, development, and what ever we have created is all-electric. Let’s start from a few years ago, 2011 – 12, when we started, we realised that we needed to do something about air pollution because a significant number of people are dying due to air pollution, while 25 percent of air pollution is attributed to road transport.
When looking at such figures, the first thing that comes to mind is to convert everything to electric. But, think of it, if we convert all vehicles to run on electric power, we will be responsible for more pollution than what IC engine vehicles are now producing.
That’s because 85 percent of all electricity produced in India is from coal, even as per the latest (FY 2016 – 17) government statistics. This is an extremely polluting source of energy. Then, combining other factors, it turns out that electric cars are not green. We are shifting the source of pollution from a car’s tail pipe to a place where electricity is being generated.
While the long-term proposition still stands valid as road transport has to be electric, we have to think about other factors too, such as where we get electricity from. Hydropower is a renewable source, so is wind and solar power, but we have a long way to go. When they take on a prominent role, then we can say electric cars are green.