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Old 11th September 2014, 11:35   #1
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Default SCOOP! Mahindra Maxximo Electric spotted!

Spotted this Masked Maxximo Electric vehicle this morning near NIMHANS, Bangalore.

This vehicle looked a bit different from the back because I could see the shiny motor from the back which kind of resembled an electric water pump. Once the vehicle stopped, snapped a pic :

SCOOP! Mahindra Maxximo Electric spotted!-img_20140911_104023.jpg

You can see a few badges masked as well as the electric motor sitting next to the rear axle.

Few observations; couldn't click pics since I was riding my two wheeler :
  • There is a Mahindra Reva Quick Charge port next to the left tail lamp. A conventional Fuel Lid was present on the right, however it was opena and flapping around, insides were empty.
  • The roof is covered entirely with a huge solar panel.
  • It made no noise as it accelerated as expected from an Electric vehicle.

Cheers,
Sunny.

Last edited by Rehaan : 11th September 2014 at 14:39. Reason: Watermarking (and making what's in the shadows more visible). Sharp catch! :)
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Old 11th September 2014, 14:43   #2
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Default Re: SCOOP! Mahindra Maxximo Electric spotted!

Sharp catch SunnyBoi!

It's good to see an electric CV.

However, what has really surprised me is the fact that the roof was covered with a solar panel. From what little i know, i just don't see solar panels being even close to a cost-effective or fast way to charge an EV... at least with current commercially available solar panel technology.

cya
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Old 11th September 2014, 14:49   #3
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Default Re: SCOOP! Mahindra Maxximo Electric spotted!

Excellent scoop Sunnyboi.

Looks like E2O mechanicals being tried on different platforms. Quite interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
However, what has really surprised me is the fact that the roof was covered with a solar panel. From what little i know, i just don't see solar panels being even close to a cost-effective or fast way to charge an EV... at least with current commercially available solar panel technology.
That's quite true Rehaan. But think about it. It may not be efficient in charging but can have huge benefits.

1. These type of vehicles are almost always outside
2. Major market is rural areas where power problem is abundant
3. If the electric can provide some juice then why not.
4. The maxximo roof is ideal.
5. Mahindra has an option as a parking enclosure with solar panels. This is the same but part of the vehicle.
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Old 11th September 2014, 15:26   #4
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Default Re: SCOOP! Mahindra Maxximo Electric spotted!

Thats some sharp sighted scoop there! It would be interesting to see the solar panels planted on the roof. The only one issue would be on the safety of the panels in terms of damage due to objects falling from the top (such as coconuts, tree branches etc).

The other point is about its charging capacity for a vehicle of the size as this. Of course it may help in distress situations when it would provide for some juice just enough to pull it to the next charging point.

This vehicle could be a great alternative in carrying masses inside a large campus / premises etc.
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Old 11th September 2014, 15:41   #5
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Default Re: SCOOP! Mahindra Maxximo Electric spotted!

Wow! You have eagle eyes for sure.

An electric would suit a CV thanks to all that torque available right from start. The only main deterrent i can think of is the production costs and battery range.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
3. If the electric can provide some juice then why not.
It might help to increase the range, but at what costs? Solar panels are expensive - I doubt if the solar roof will make it to production on a CV.
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Old 11th September 2014, 16:19   #6
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Default Re: SCOOP! Mahindra Maxximo Electric spotted!

The solar panel might not be for powering the electric motor, but for powering all other electrical components in the vehicle (headlight, cabin lights, lights for gauges etc.). I do remember reading something similar in Reva also, and have seen a Reva fitted with a sunroof some time back.

--Anoop
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Old 11th September 2014, 16:22   #7
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Default Re: SCOOP! Mahindra Maxximo Electric spotted!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
But think about it. It may not be efficient in charging but can have huge benefits.
Not doubting any of that. Completely agree with it.

However here its a trade off between:
a) A small solar panel that has barely any real utility, costs a bit
b) A large solar panel that has some utility, but costs a ton

The "Sun2car" solar charging station costs between 1-2 lakhs. Even something 1/4th the size/cost, mounted on the Maxximo's roof will still be considered pricey on a CV that costs just Rs. 3-4 lakh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by girishglg View Post
This vehicle could be a great alternative in carrying masses inside a large campus / premises etc.
Mahindra does actually have some electric vehicles plying on their campuses (eg. Verito).

What's different about this is that it seems to be road testing...!

cya
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Old 11th September 2014, 16:34   #8
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Default Re: SCOOP! Mahindra Maxximo Electric spotted!

Pawan Goenka tweeted this couple of hours back, I get a feeling M&M is betting big on electric vehicles.

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@GoenkaPk: What is also heartening is importance being given to innovation and R&D by GOI. If what is being said happens, we are in for glorious times
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Old 11th September 2014, 17:02   #9
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Default Re: SCOOP! Mahindra Maxximo Electric spotted!

I have read that instead of using a battery, some solar cars direct the power straight to an electric motor.But how practical and reliable this is to be seen and proved.
Ford has this one which is now under testing.
see this link
http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/1...ut-plugging-in

Quote:
Ford has designed a new concept car that it’s planning to show off at CES 2014 next week, which isn’t very surprising — car companies make new concept vehicles all the time. However, this time Ford is looking to harness all that free energy the sun is raining down on us every day in a plug-in hybrid. The Ford C-Max Solar Energi has 1.5 square meters of solar panels on the roof that can juice up the battery while it’s parked outside. It’s not as simple as bolting some photovoltaic solar cells to the roof of the car, though.

Ford says that using this system the car can gain the equivalent of a four-hour plug-in charge (about 8 kilowatts) over the course of the day. For many people, that’s enough to commute or run some errands without using gas or plugging into the grid. Without the overhead canopy of lenses, the C-Max pulls in too little power to justify putting solar panels on the car in the first place.
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And this link provides more interesting insight on the subject and also about the Toyota Solar Prius.
http://www.solarelectricalvehicles.com/
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Last edited by rajeev k : 11th September 2014 at 17:10.
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Old 11th September 2014, 17:20   #10
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Default Re: SCOOP! Mahindra Maxximo Electric spotted!

The solar panels actually make sense. In small cities and towns, these vehicles are always parked in the sun, and even when running, they are slow and stop and go between places. Running duration between stops are less and stops are frequent. In this scenario, the solar panels can actually provide a substantial amount of power, along with regenerative braking(if available). Plus, they don't exactly dash off at full acceleration, so it might extend range. And in the daytime, headlights aren't needed, so accessories running on battery are minimal. Just the gauges and horns.
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Old 12th September 2014, 08:38   #11
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Default Re: SCOOP! Mahindra Maxximo Electric spotted!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Not doubting any of that. Completely agree with it.


The "Sun2car" solar charging station costs between 1-2 lakhs. Even something 1/4th the size/cost, mounted on the Maxximo's roof will still be considered pricey on a CV that costs just Rs. 3-4 lakh.

R
There are two aspects:

1. The benefits that will be available to the electric vehicles through the new electric mobility plan of the Government of India which will bring down the cost of electric vehicles significantly due to subsidy element.

2. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is also planning to introduce benefits for decentralized solar applications (right now these benefits are extended for GRID connected electricity generation only). The white paper and the allied information is available in public domain. It's just a matter of time for clearance from the government.

With these two benefits in place, the overall cost of vehicles with integrated solar panels will not be more than the present generation vehicles.

Now comes the issue of travel benefits:

1. Toughened glass is sufficient to withstand falling coconuts and tree branches and thus keeping the panels safe is not a problem.

2. With a full charged battery, the panels will keep it on "float" and would be able to not only provide extra distance or "Juice" as one may say, the pick up would be better in sunny days due to availability of additional current and these better torque from the motor, electric motors otherwise also reach there peak torque levels from low rpms unlike IC engines. Also, at times these vehicles due to their sheer size and design are used for street / market supplies requiring hault after every few hundred meters / kms, thus the panels will keep on refreshing the batteries during the "stop" duration though some charge will happen during the movement also, but the batteries are in drain mode.

3. The problem of deep discharge and battery going kaput in commercial operations due to limited understanding of drivers and work pressure could be addressed to a greater extent as atleast during day hours, there will be perpetual charging "on-the-go" for the vehicle .

In most of the cases, studies have revealed that additional solar panels can add between 20-30% of the travel ability, thus for a 100 km design vehicle, it is possible to do 20-30 km extra.

4. Last and most important, this might find some utility in the locations where there are frequent power failures, though I am not sure of this statement as it will purely depend on the capability of the panels.

It's a smart move to be an early starter.

Cheers

Last edited by i74js : 12th September 2014 at 08:44.
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Old 12th September 2014, 08:56   #12
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Default Re: SCOOP! Mahindra Maxximo Electric spotted!

All ok how did you manage to squat in the nimhans area traffic for a pic... in hindsight you could have got down taken many pics considering the 1Kmph traffic there, hehe!

Super scoop though, first hybrid made in India hopefully?
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Old 12th September 2014, 18:47   #13
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Default Re: SCOOP! Mahindra Maxximo Electric spotted!

He says he was riding his two-wheeler at the time, so it would have been easier than getting out of a car mid road near NIMHANS! Boy, he surely did spot that one! With all the traffic there, it would be easy to miss something like this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post
All ok how did you manage to squat in the nimhans area traffic for a pic... in hindsight you could have got down taken many pics considering the 1Kmph traffic there, hehe!

Super scoop though, first hybrid made in India hopefully?
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Old 14th September 2014, 09:42   #14
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Default Re: SCOOP! Mahindra Maxximo Electric spotted!

At the minimum, solar panels should be used to provide thermo electric cooling on the seats which could make our summers so much bearable.

Are there any seat covers which support such cooling? Hope its not that complicated and only slight cooling can make a big difference. No power drain to run the fans etc. They can run small exhaust fans when parked in sun.

Last edited by srishiva : 14th September 2014 at 09:48.
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Old 14th September 2014, 11:18   #15
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Default Re: SCOOP! Mahindra Maxximo Electric spotted!

Good scoop. My guess would be this was a test bed for something else.
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