IIT Kharagpur gets CSR Funding from IDBI Trusteeship for Developing Light-Weight Parts for Indigenous Three-Wheeler Electric Vehicles
IDBI Trusteeship Services Ltd. has given a fillip to IIT Kharagpur’s Deshla electric vehicle project through its Corporate Social Responsibility programme. This funding will be used towards the design and development of aerodynamic body panels and light-weight structures for next-generation electric three-wheelers.
Electric vehicles need to match internal combustion (petrol/diesel/CNG/LPG) engine counterparts in initial cost, performance, reliability, etc. and better them in lower running costs and ease of use if they are to replace conventional vehicles. Revolutionary design changes, such as a drastic reduction in vehicle weight, aerodynamic body panels and indigenous development of relevant technologies e.g. motors, battery management systems, motor controller, battery pack design, etc. are essential to this end.
“Using the CSR contribution of IDBI Trusteeship, our key focus would be on aerodynamic body panel design for three-wheeler vehicles with peak speeds around50 kmph vehicle. We will also experiment on new materials and chassis designs to develop lightweight structures. The combination of these should make the vehicle much more efficient and provide a higher range from the battery pack with better pick-up and peak speeds. We have outlined a two-year proposal for this of which we have received funding for the first phase” said Prof. Vikranth Racherla, project leader and faculty at the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering at IIT Kharagpur.
“We try to cover the geography of the country strategically for green projects to support India’s goals in reducing its carbon footprint among other CSR projects,” said Swapan Kumar Bagchi, MD & CEO, IDBI Trusteeship Services Ltd. who is also an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur. Bagchi had visited IIT Kharagpur in February 2020 to finalize the phase I funding for the project.
The project is expected to involve a large number of students from various departments of the Institute and also interns from other colleges working on various subsystems of electric vehicles. The innovations are expected to be ready in around two years. Participating students over a period of time would develop expertise in various subsystems of electric vehicles. These students are expected to lead electric vehicle development work in industries or become entrepreneurs in this segment once they graduate.
“The Deshla electric vehicle is one of the most successful and timely innovations from IIT Kharagpur, further it is totally based on indigenous technology. Last year the Govt. of India expanded the scope of CSR funding to IITs and other national institutions to promote industry-academia engagements in research and academics. The scope is immense and IIT Kharagpur is reaching out to several PSUs, MNCs and private corporations to support end-to-end research,” said Prof. Anandaroop Bhattacharya, Associate Dean, International Relations who is heading the CSR initiative at IIT Kharagpur.
The Institute through its R&D projects has reached out to large sections of population solving challenges related to malnutrition, health and sanitation, power generation, clean drinking water, environmental sustainability, education, rural development and livelihood, gender equality and women’s empowerment and even national heritage, arts and culture among the others. The Institute’s CSR oriented projects have been conferred national awards and honours as well.