We had an opportunity to visit Nothway Motorsports to check out their new electric truck conversion kit. In this blog, we talk about the ideas implemented in this certified kit, after experiencing the truck and speaking to the founder Mr Hemank Dhabade
Here are the specs: 15 kW motor. 13 kWH battery pack. Range from 80 to 150 km depending on load conditions. I would have been happier with a range of around 200 km. That means that some intercity trips can happen. But extra range means extra investments. For a higher range, extra battery will also eat into your loading area. So the math is to discover what price / range combination works best for truck operators. Northway feels that a 100 km range is good enough. They have surveyed 500 Ace users, and real life data indicates that most vehicles do about that much in a day.
And on the rare days that they do go beyond 100, they can do the very jugaadu fast charging. To rein in costs, there is no provision for No CCS or DC fast charging. What the Northway team has done is to give an option of charging with 3 phase, 2 phase or 1 phase. With 3 phase charging, you can recharge your battery in about an hour. And most truck operators would have some connections with factories and warehouses where 3 phase connections are already available. So there is no need to go out of the way to visit special fast DC chargers.
Battery packs are fitted under the load body. The vehicle handling improves because of a more even weight distribution and a lower center of gravity. The aim has been to retain as much of the familiar controls and displays of the original Ace.The battery SoC is indicated by the fuel gauge. The NVH factor is greatly reduced in the Ace, but that means that stuff that you couldn't hear earlier - like body rattle - is more audible now. Definitely a leap up for driver comfort, though I would crib a bit about the roughness in gear shifting. Would have been happy if Northway would have provided a battery cable storage compartment, right next to the charger. The real cost economics in Ace kind of vehicles is to be able to beat CNG. With a kit expected at between 3 to 4 lakh, the electric Ace may just about provide serious competition to the CNG one.