Nagpur Man Converts Van Into Solar-Powered Car: Find Out!

Dilip Chitre

Nagpur Man Converts Van into Solar-Powered Car, Has Already Covered 3500 Kms!

?People park their cars in the shade and I park mine under the sun,? says the 65-year-old solar enthusiast. #LiveGreen #DriveGreen

Vehicular emissions were responsible for many deaths from air pollution in India. Meanwhile, the registration of private vehicles has gone up from 0.3 million to a staggering 210 million in 2015. With a rise in private vehicles on the road, there is a dire need to come up with alternatives like electric vehicles. Among the people who are experimenting on pollution-free vehicles, is a man from Nagpur who has converted his regular car to a solar-powered one. The eureka moment for Dilip Chitre came when he converted his second-hand Maruti van into a solar-run vehicle last year. It took 25 years for Chitre to perfect his innovation and his e-vehicle has so far covered a distance of 3,500 kilometers without any bumps.

Every day he covers approximately 25 kilometers by driving it from his house to the school. There is no additional maintenance service and all it requires is sunlight for a smooth run.

As a curious kid, Chitre had the habit of dismantling his toys and adding things to make a new toy. His interest in innovation and, by extension, the scale and volume of his experiments grew with time.

Chitre has worked on several small-time innovations like developing a system that prevents stealing petrol from bikes. In 1995, when Chitre learned of the benefits of solar energy, he began tinkering around with solar energy and electric vehicles.

Solar energy is not new to India. We have trains running on steam and even electric vehicles. It is only the lack of encouragement given to energy-saving devices that environmentally-sound vehicles and equipment are not used in the mainstream.

In 2003, after years of research, Chitre conducted his first experiment on an auto-rickshaw in which he replaced the engine with an electric battery. Chitre even took the effort of getting it tested in the Regional Transport Office in Nagpur and it did clear the test.

He also made a presentation of the e-rickshaw at the Petroleum Conservation Research Association in Dehradun but unluckily, he did not receive any response.

Chitre then channelized his knowledge by experimenting on household appliances. For instance, four years ago, he installed 140 lights in his friend?s car showroom that run on solar. In 2017, after gaining experience in solar-run devices, his passion for vehicles rekindled. To that end, he purchased Mahindra?s e2o electric car for Rs 10 lakh to convert it into a solar-run car. He worked on it for a year but the experiment failed. Instead of giving up, Chitre applied new methods to a second-hand van that cost him Rs 5 lakh. He replaced the engine with a 48-volt battery, a DC motor, gearbox, charge controller and an electronic accelerator.

He installed a speed regulator and installed solar panels with a capacity of 400 watts on the roof of the car.

The battery stores the electricity generated from the solar panels and sends it to the motor where it gets converted into mechanical energy with the help of the gearbox. As for charging the battery, he has had to recharge it only two twice in eight months.

Chitre is only one of the many people who are striving towards pollution-free vehicles, but many of these experiments fail to take off due to a lack of resources and support.

We hope organizations working in the field come forward and support such brilliant ideas.

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