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Ashok Leyland and IIT Madras collaborate to develop hybrid electric vehicles

Posted by Priya Singh On 11-Oct-2022 09:02 AM

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  • This collaboration will allow for the development and demonstration of a series of hybrid vehicles equipped with Micro Gas Turbines.


    Ashok Leyland, the Hinduja group's flagship and India's largest business automobile manufacturer is collaborating with researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) on the National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD) to develop and commercialize the 'Swirl Mesh Lean Direct Injection (LDI) system.' using turbine know-how to create a collection of hybrid electric vehicles (EVs).

    This collaboration will allow for the development and demonstration of a series of hybrid vehicles equipped with this Micro Gas Turbine, dubbed the 'Turbine electric vehicle' (TEV). The goal of this project is to develop a power train for long-range heavy vehicles that has ultra-low emissions, a low cost of ownership, fuel flexibility, and reliability.

    According to sources, IIT Madras researchers at NCCRD are working on developing an indigenously designed Micro Gas Turbine. The Micro Turbine is built around a patented combustion technology known as the 'Swirl Mesh Lean Direct Injection (LDI) system.'

    The electrical motors would be the primary powertrain, but onboard energy could be generated by the Micro Gas Turbine, which was developed collaboratively by NCCRD and Aerostrovilos Energy, an IITM-incubated start-up. The large battery will be replaced by this Micro Gas Turbine.

    After the know-how was demonstrated on a lab scale, Ashok Leyland signed a letter of assistance with NCCRD, IIT Madras to develop this know-how for the heavy automobiles section. Yesterday, Ashok Leyland handed over a 9-meter passenger electrical bus to NCCRD as part of the collaboration.

    Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, of IIT Madras, purchased the bus from N. Saravanan, Chief Technology Officer, Ashok Leyland, and Kanakasabapathi Subramanian, Senior Vice President, Product Development, Ashok Leyland, on behalf of NCCRD, IIT Madras. This bus can be transformed into a vehicle with a hybrid powertrain powered by a micro gasoline turbine developed by NCCRD and Aerostrovilos.

    Ashok Leyland CTO Saravanan stated that "Micro Gas Turbines hold great promise as a technology that will extend fuel combustion beyond traditional IC engines while also providing more efficient performance and multi-fuel capability. In this development effort, Ashok Leyland is proud to be associated with IIT Madras and Aerostrovilos."

    "This marks our conviction of not only working with the industry on innovative technological solutions of societal impact but also pushing the inhouse developments on innovation to see the light of day with the industry," said Prof. Sathya Chakravarthy, Coordinator, NCCRD, IIT Madras.

    The benefits of this collection hybrid configuration with this new microturbine know-how include an overall lighter powertrain, ultra-low emissions, a variety of gasoline capabilities (e.g. Biogas, CNG, LNG, Diesel, Hydrogen, and so on.), and an overall low cost of possession, according to the release.

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