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Why did a Gujarat man mount a windmill on the roof of his Tata Nexon?

by Srishti Saha

Why did a Gujarat man mount a windmill on the roof of his Tata Nexon?

February 19, 2021

Coming across bizarre things on the road is a very common occurrence, especially in India. But a man in Gujarat just earned a spot on the list by adding a freaking windmill to the rooftop of his Tata Nexon. And netizens are left wondering WHY?

The culture of electric cars in India is still in its nascent stages. The electric car market share remains very less when compares to fuel-driven cars. However, one can always see a few EVs passing by on a highway or a popular road.

One of the best electric cars in India – Tata Nexon EV, was recently captured being driven on the roads of Gujrat, but with a very novel jugaad on top. The car in question became famous all-over social media because of its ‘jugaad’ of having a windmill mounted on top. Even though the purpose of a windmill isn’t clear, it can be assumed that the contraption was mounted to recharge the electric batteries on the go. 

Geek Out More: Why is Lamborghini Sian the most unique hybrid vehicle? 

Was mounting a windmill a good idea?

At first glance, this contraption seems extremely interesting, to say the least. This is definitely a jugaad in its essence, and therefore design or efficiency might not be at the forefront of this design. Let’s break it down, shall we?

In order for a vehicle to move forward, it needs to overcome the resistive force acting on it. This is simple, plain longitudinal performance physics. The resistive force on any vehicle consists of the vehicle’s own weight, horizontal component if the road is a slope, aerodynamic drag and the tyre rolling resistance. In the case of a highway scenario, speeds build-up, and it is absolutely necessary to reduce the component of aerodynamic drag  to reduce the energy consumption by any vehicle.

Look closely, and you realise that the windmill mounted on top would cause more resistance and aerodynamic drag. It will make the electric engine work significantly more than it has to. In the end, the drag created by the windmill will balance or completely outdo the additional electrical energy produced by it.

scool buzz mounting a windmill on tata nexon
Is mounting a windmill on the top of a car a good idea?

Optimising or Boosting Electric Cars

One of the main reasons such contraptions exist in the first place is because of a lack of public electric car charging stations. While at-home electric vehicle charging stations can store significant amounts of energy in the car battery, it is likely that on a long trip out, the driver might need to charge batteries again.

Passionate drivers willing to take their purchase on a drive will not want to patiently wait for India to become a more electric vehicle-friendly nation, and rightly so! So, what should you do?

Experts suggest installing a solar panel on top of the car is a much better idea, and it will do the required job too. While it may require shifting your car from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), you will be good to go after a few modifications.

Hyundai and Kia Motors have come up with solar charging panels specifically for electric cars. In fact, Hyundai Sonata, a car launched by Hyundai in 2019, proposes to generate enough electricity to generate 808 miles of driving every year. This data may fare low on the benchmark as compared to its fuel counterparts but surely leaves hope for better technology that can enable EV owners to go on long drives even in a country like India.

electric-station-scoolbuzz
The electric stations are less in number in India and are far from each other.

EV Market in India - What does it look like?

Electric Vehicles (EVs), although socially acceptable and a treat to drive, find very few buyers who want to take the car home. With battery charging, backup and maintenance issues, it can be said that the magic of EVs is taking its own sweet time to spread all over India. Even though there are a few good electric cars already on roads, the majority of buyers  prefer fuel propelled cars of electric vehicles (EVs). A white paper released by Kearney reveals that the total ownership cost (TCO) of an electric vehicle exceeds that of fuel-driven vehicles when the daily travel is less than 40-45 kilometres. For travelling beyond the mentioned threshold, the TCO seems favourable. 

Electric-car-charging-scoolbuzz
Electric Vehicle (EV) market in India is growing.

Electric Cars And How They Work

Electric cars use electric powered motors instead of an engine powered by petrol or diesel. This electric engine uses energy from its batteries, which can be recharged through a household electric connection. The technology has seen a lot of supporters all over the world as it is environment friendly and easy on the pocket.

On average, electric vehicles offer comparatively low operating costs, at least in Western or European countries. In fact, most electric vehicles are 70-80% cheaper when it comes to maintenance costs. On top of it, electric vehicles or EVs also have fewer moving parts than their fellow fuel propelled cars. This alone dramatically reduces the maintenance bill significantly. For people who use their cars often, this might be an important consideration, especially when electric cars are also superior when it comes to performance and driveability.

As of yet, there are three kinds of electric cars used in India – solar-powered electric cars, hybrid electric cars and electric cars with battery packs known as BEVs. Popular ones remain Hyundai Kona Electric, Mahindrae20, Porsche Taycan, Mahindra e-Vitro etc. However, if India has to come up in the list of environmentally responsible countries, many more EVs should be launched considering the pocket of the general public. Hopefully, there is enthusiasm aplenty around Elon Musks’s tesla launching in India. It is likely that more manufacturers will come up with electric cars, and the consumers, too, might be ready to embrace the new-edge technology then.

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