Automotive > Powertrain, Body, Chassis & Safety Blog

Revolo – Aftermarket Hybrid Solution Launches In India

by Kevin Mak | Jun 08, 2010

On June 4th, KPIT Cummins and Bharat Forge announced the formation of a joint venture to offer the REVOLO hybrid powertrain system to the Indian aftermarket.  Strategy Analytics has analyzed the sales potential of this system.

  • KPIT Cummins are specialists in product engineering design and is one of the world’s leading automotive software developers.
  • Bharat Forge is a division of the Kalyani Group, a leading manufacturer of engine and chassis components. 
  • Both companies are based in India and have considerable operations in both their home and export markets.

The REVOLO system is a parallel hybrid solution that can be installed to the crankshaft of the internal combustion engine by an aftermarket dealer, in a minimum of four hours.  It can even be installed to engines that do not have an Engine Management System (EMS) and engines fuelled by carburetors.  REVOLO is a mild hybrid system with a small 15-22 hp (11-16 kW) AC induction motor-generator and so it cannot propel the vehicle on electric power alone, but offers torque assist, brake regeneration and engine stop-start.  Its simplified design minimizes the need to make modifications to the host vehicle, just requiring the addition of a small battery pack and various sensors.  The battery can either be a low-cost valve-regulated lead acid or a lithium-ion version, both capable of recharging from an external power supply. 

  • REVOLO is being retailed at Rs. 65,000-145,000 (US$1,380-3,090) fully fitted.
  • Some 11 patents have been filed for this system.
  • The system, fitted to vehicles equipped with an 800 cc gasoline engine, an 800 cc diesel engine and a 1.4-liter gasoline engine, was tested by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).  It confirmed that the REVOLO system enhanced fuel efficiency by more than 40 percent. Furthermore, under city driving conditions the increase in efficiency had exceeded 60 percent and that reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions had exceeded 30 percent.
  • According to Ravi Pandit, Chiarmand and Group CEO of KPIT Cummins, “it will give vehicle owners the option of upgrading their vehicles to a higher level of fuel efficiency and performance, without the expense of having to buy a new one”.

For its initial launch, the sales potential for REVOLO is mainly positive.  Advantages for Indian deployment include:

  • The relative ease in which this system can be retrofitted to any vehicle, with all electronics and software algorithms integrated into the module.
  • The relatively low cost (when compared to other hybrid systems), thus lowering barrier to consumer acceptance and possibly enabling a faster return on investment.
  • The increased level of efficiency, as confirmed by the ARAI tests.  Most driving by passenger cars in India is conducted on urban roads at low speed that would benefit from a stop-start system.  The same driving conditions may exist in other emerging markets.
  • It could target deployment for vehicles that are the least efficient and most polluting currently on Indian roads – namely those not benefitting from electronic powertrain control and fuel injection.
  • It negates the need for costlier new vehicle purchases (and thus ties-in with KPIT Cummins’ involvement in supporting used car sales and car servicing with CLICKSERVICESMILE.com).
  • For vehicles with larger than 1.2-liters gasoline and 1.5-liters diesel engines, the hybrid system could also bring about a reduction in vehicle excise duty, reduced from 20 to 10 percent.

Concerns for REVOLO include:

  • The system’s highest cost level (US$3,090), as the system may have to compete against purchases of entire, new less-polluting vehicles, such as the Tata Nano priced at around US$2,500.
  • That in certain emerging markets, governments have stabilized fuel prices and so lengthens the payback period for owning a hybrid vehicle.

Depending on the success in the aftermarket, discussions with OEMs may lead to further success for REVOLO.  To see the latest Strategy Analytics forecast for OEM hybrid powertrain demand, please go to the Automotive Electronics System Demand Forecast 2008 to 2017: Main Data Tables

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