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Home » PREMIUM » Three girls from engineering college build EV model during lockdown period

Three girls from engineering college build EV model during lockdown period

August 14, 2021 12:50 pm

Three girls from engineering college build EV model during lockdown period
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The three girl students spent 7-8 months to build the EV, when the college was shut due to Covid-induced lockdown.

While the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns saw closure of college campuses, many students suffered in their academic career, but these four girls from Mysuru were determined to achieve their dreams. They built an electric car which can be now replicated and improvised. 

Shwetha R, Saima Zulfa and Nandita J, all in final year electrical engineering from Vidyavardhaka College of Engineering (VVCE) have developed this electric car which is in a running condition and they also say that it can be scalable.

The trio spent over seven to eight months to build this car. They have built it from the ground up by using a 12V, 32 Amp lead-acid battery and a 1kW motor. As part of a green initiative, they wanted to build clean energy vehicles and more importantly, the rising fuel costs were also a concern which had to be addressed by this initiative.

Swetha said, “It was my childhood dream to drive and own a car and this motivated me to build an electric car. Bending the metal sheet, cutting and welding rods were beyond my imagination and I did not imagine that I would do all this. My fellow mates from the Mechanical Engineering course also helped us in fabrication work.”

Saima Zulfa who led this initiative, said, “My father is an electrical engineer and I got motivated to choose the electrical branch over any other. Many have told me electrical engineering is not for girls and asked me to choose Computer Science or IT. But I was motivated and I enjoyed the course. I have done many projects on IoT, Fire alarm, sensors related home automation and appliances.” 

Nandita, explaining the project said, “The car can give a mileage up to 70 km for one full charge and it consumes only one unit of electricity for full charge. This will cost ₹7 for 70 km. In the future, we have a plan to use lithium-ion batteries and to increase the seating capacity.”

Gopala Reddy. K, project guide and professor at Electrical and Electronics Department said, “In present times, vehicles emit a lot of CO2 making it hard to get pure oxygen. Fuel costs are getting increasingly costlier over time. I wanted to address this problem. This was the time when I entrusted three students who agreed to take up the project after I explained them the concept.”

Sadashivegowda, Principal of Vidyavardhaka College of Engineering said, “I am extremely glad that the female students from the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department who are doing their final year as part of their project have done an a very innovative project in which they have completed the electric vehicle which is a prototype and a working model with many new and innovative features. Mainly they have used one wheel at the back and two wheels at the front which is first of its kind in the design of three-wheel vehicles.”

The car offers a great deal of advantages such as: noiseless operation makes it apt for wildlife photography; with zero emissions, it is an eco-friendly car; low cost; easy parking; has leg brake; a layman too can ride the car; and easy to ride in the narrow roads.

Navigating through hurdles

Getting the required materials for the project and the time constraints due to lockdowns were major hurdles these students had to overcome. “Lockdowns imposed twice made it hard for us to work on the project. At first a 21-day lockdown was imposed after which another lockdown was imposed for 12 days during which we couldn’t work. Along with that managing to get all the components was another issue. Some components that weren’t available in Mysore were to be brought from Bangalore and some online,” said Saima Zulfa.

Talking about the materials used for the project, Shwetha said, “We used lead acid battery, permanent magnet, brushless DC motor and driver controller form major technical background for our EV design. Since it is a battery-operated vehicle, battery plays a major role in it. As per current equation the current will be 20 Amps, hence we used lead acid battery with 12 V 32 Amps capacity. To get the voltage of 48 V we connected four lead-acid batteries.”

“It takes 30-40 minutes to charge the battery completely. Since the battery used is 30 Amps per hour, once the battery is charged fully, the vehicle moves at a speed up to 60 kmph. We have also installed circuit breaker below the seat. For one to ride the vehicle, the circuit breaker switch needs to be switched on and release the leg break. This makes it impossible for any unauthorised person to ride the vehicle,” Saima said.

“By watching various videos online and reading research papers, we understood how to build an electric vehicle using the materials such as the battery, driver controller and DC motor. Initially, the idea was to build a four-wheeler. Since a three-wheeler electronic vehicle was not available very easily and we wanted to build a vehicle that even a common man with literally no knowledge of driving and even old aged individuals could ride, we came up with the idea of building a three-wheeler EV.”

“One of the advantages of this compact electrical vehicle is that it could enable Indian women drive it with confidence. In Indian scenario, women feel they cannot drive. When the car was trialled at the campus, 5-6 women who feared to have a ride, felt happy and confident that they can drive a four or a three-wheeler,” said Shwetha.

Further scope of research 

“We are doing research and we have almost finalised to make it much more efficient and advanced by adding features like voice and app-based controllers. We will also be using solar power and improve the overall design,” Swetha said, who also plans to become a start-up entrepreneur. 

“This project offers scope for further innovation in multiple aspects. There is a huge scope for research and development. With time, battery technology finds a greater advantage of research work. Presently, the car has seating capacity of one person only. This could be increased to two-seater capacity based on specifications,” she added.

“Installing solar panel on the roof of the car could be another innovation that could be explored further to what we have done. The car can work on hybrid energy, using both solar power and electric battery as energy sources,” Nandita concluded.

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