We Drive a Bosch Electric-Powered Maruti Baleno Ahead of Auto Expo

Can petrol cars be converted to electric vehicles? Here’s one such electric Maruti Baleno with a Bosch motor.

Car and Bike
2 min read

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A day ahead of the Auto Expo 2018, Bosch showcased what could be a feasible solution for getting electric cars to the market in time for the 2030 deadline. The company showcased a Maruti Baleno powered by an electric motor.

According to Bosch, by 2030 only about 10 percent of the vehicles in India could be electric in a worst-case scenario, and about 18 percent in a best-case scenario. Cost and battery limitation continue to hamper the adoption of electric cars in India.

The Maruti Baleno with its light build and spacious interior makes for a good donor car. 
(Photo: The Quint)

However, the technology already exists and that’s what we were invited to sample at an event in the capital.

This Maruti Baleno you see in the video has been fitted with an 84 kW electric motor in place of the engine. It can put out 200 Nm of torque, which makes its acceleration quite quick – a trait you will find with most electric vehicles.

However, battery capacity, range and charge times continue to be a limiting factor. Bosch has used a 10kwH lithium-ion battery in this demo car. For reference, a Tesla Model S base model uses an 85kwH battery pack.

The Bosch 84 kW motor system in the engine bay of the Maruti Baleno. 
(Photo: The Quint)

A couple of years ago, the government had proposed retro-fitting existing cars with electric motors, but that proposal hadn’t seen much traction. But is the solution being shown by Bosch feasible?

We got a quick first-drive with the electric-powered Baleno. It’s not really a drive that can really tell us the long-term capabilities of the car. What we can deduce is that, like any electric car, it is silent. It is quick to accelerate. And it has no transmission – just a single speed drive.

There is an app to monitor the car’s settings, which seems to be the norm these days with most electric vehicles. Still, it is early days for electric cars given the limitations on charging capabilities, range and battery capacity.

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