The all electric car rally had 20 electric cars, with over 40 people. The cars did 5000 all electric kilometers and saved 350 liters of fuel for our country and caused 0 local pollution. Also 5 community charging stations were created, which can be used permanently by the EV community.
3 cars from Mumbai joined 17 cars from Pune for the drive.
The charging stations between Mumbai and Pune were the same ones used earlier by the community.
- G3 Motors, Nerul, Navi Mumbai (3 - 15 Amp sockets)
- Khandala Motor Garage, Khandala (3 sockets)
- Sahyadri Motors , Pashan Pune (6 sockets)
- Hotel Vishram, Khandala (pargaon) (2 sockets)
- Joshi Wadewaale, Khandala (pargaon) (4 sockets)
- Mapro Food Park, Wai (6 sockets)
- Bageecha Corner, Mahabaleshwar (2 sockets)
- To spread awareness of electric mobility and clean transport
- To setup permanent community charging stations and electrify the Mumbai-Pune-Mahabaleshwar route
- Get the EV community in Mumbai and Pune toghether
The Mumbai-Pune leg was pretty straight forward as the community has driven on this route before and they know the charging stations well. One hour charging at Nerul and 1 hour charging after the ghat at Khandala and they were in Pune.
Here are some photos of the leg.
The Mumbai-Pune EV community had a nice get together at free service camp organized by Mahindra before the rally on the same evening. Stickers were stuck on the cars, India flag was kept safely for tomorrow's flag off and the community bonded over tea.
The community met Captain Sanjay who flew in from Gurgaon just to meet the Mumbai-Pune EV community.
The Mumbai-Pune EV community had a special guest who came all the way from Chennai.
Meet Polly - India's only Lithium Polymer battery powered electric car. The team from Chennai comprised of Syed Mubasheer, Sajid, Mujib and Jagan. PluginIndia had documented their EV conversion story.
The team purchased a classic Reva electric car with a lead acid battery and retrofitted it with a Lithium Polymer battery with quick charge capability. Polly also has an incredible torque while accelerating in 'R' mode.
The community enjoyed test drives of a different electric car!
The 20 electric cars were divided in 3 batches. Batch 1 with 6 cars - cars which had range of 90-100 km. Batch 2 had cars with range of 100-120 km. Batch 3 had cars with 120 km range.
Batch 1 cars would leave Pune by 7 AM. Batch 2 at 8:30 AM and Batch 3 at 10:00 AM. This gave an opportunity for each batch to charge up at various stations and go ahead.
We had planned 2 charge stations at 1 spot as backup but nothing can prevent from unknowns. We did recee trips a week back, but In-spite of our planning, things can go wrong as the station at Joshi Wadewaale, Khandala (pargaon), had unreliable voltage issues. Luckily the other station socket's worked. But this meant that our plan of using the 2 stations did not work out.
This had a cascading effect on all the batches and plans! Batches, discipline and timing just went out of the window.
Our next stop was a Food Park called - Mapro, which was a very good spot. Lots of area to park our cars and Mapro guys were very helpful. But we had a tough time as the wiring that was used by the Mapro electrician was a 2.5 Sq mm wire. That could not handle load of 4 cars charging in parallel.
Luckily for us MAPRO, Wai is a big food factory and we managed to find 15 Amps sockets in kitchens, storage areas etc.
This enabled us to charge our cars in batches. We could manage but this meant that all 20 cars had to wait for 6 cars to finish and then proceed to Mahabaleshwar.
Some lessons we have learnt during the rally
- During a Rally , have atleast 2 stations near each other and have another station say 5-10 km away as emergency backup - as electricity can get unreliable in some locations.
- Another BIG BIG lesson we learnt was this. A business can install a station with 4-5 sockets and tell us that 4 cars can charge in parallel. But it is not as straight forward as it sounds.
If the business provides 4 points, they will have to ensure that the wire from the meter to the sockets can handle the load of 4 cars sucking 11-12 amps simultaneously.
The ampacity of a 4 Sq mm cable from Finolex is around 27Amp as the current rating. For 6 Sq mm it is 35Amp.
For three cars, we can assume about 33Amp total current. It may still be possible to use 4 sq. mm since we are not expecting 3 cars charging all the time. But for a rally using a wire greater than 6 Sq mm is a must.
- Have a Recee trip a week before the rally and simulate atleast 3 cars charging from a point during the Recee trip.
But in-spite of the issues we faced, the teams were cheerful, we had a patriotic sign off with the Indian flag, we enjoyed the stunning views of Mahabaleshwar and all teams reached our resort Bungalow safe and sound!
Next morning, all were in high spirits and we all enjoyed the downhill slope from Mahabaleshwar to MAPRO food park, Wai.
Some of us got regen of upto 10%, while sliding down he hill. So ensure your car has 80% charge. Get to MAPRO, Wai, charge for 30 mins (100 km cars) and directly go to Pune with 40% SOC still remaining. As we are descending from 1200 m to around 600 m in Pune, we just let Regenerative Braking do its magic :)
The second RE:LIVE India electric vehicle drive was a great success. The EV community of Delhi had hosted the Delhi-Sariska-Jaipur event and now the Pune-Mumbai community have electrified the Mumbai-Pune-Mahabaleshwar route.
The best part of these two RE:LIVE rallys is that the community have setup community charging stations, which can be used by the EV community to visit these beautiful places without causing pollution or consuming oil.
One thing is for sure, the electrification of Indian roads has well and truly begun. The corporates and our government are slow when it comes to his task but the community is racing ahead and there is more to come!