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Ashok Leyland embarks on ambitious technological breakthrough

Modified On Oct 16, 2022 02:44 PMBy Trucksdekho Editorial Team

Partners with IIT Madras to develop hybrid electric vehicles using turbine technology 

The automotive industry worldwide is extremely dynamic, with newer technologies shaping the industry almost every day. The proliferation of electric vehicles is one of the biggest disruptions facing the industry over a century. The focus on sustainable transportation also means finding ways and means to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and bring down pollutants drastically. 

Faced with enormous challenges, automotive companies globally are continuously searching for new technologies through innovation to get future-ready with the most realistic solutions in the rapidly changing world. Leading Indian OEMs are also working aggressively towards new tools and technologies to bring path-breaking solutions going into the future as well as become ready to face the competition. 

Related: Ashok Leyland AVTR UF 3522: India’s first LNG fuel truck 

Ashok Leyland, India’s top commercial vehicle maker is a leading source of innovations and a modern technological player in the truck and bus industry. The company with over decades of experience has been working towards some of the most ambitious technologies. 

Earlier this week, the firm announces joining hands with IIT Madras, Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) Researchers at the National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD) collaborated for the development and commercialization of ‘Swirl Mesh Lean Direct Injection (LDI) system’ technology for developing a series of hybrid Electrical Vehicles using this turbine technology. 

According to N Saravanan, CTO of Ashok Leyland, “Micro Gas Turbines hold significant promise as a technology that will extend fuel combustion beyond traditional IC Engines and provide for more efficient performance and multi-fuel capability. Ashok Leyland is proud to be associated with IIT Madras and Aerostrovilos in this development effort.”

IIT Madras Researchers at NCCRD are developing a Micro Gas Turbine designed indigenously. “The core of the Micro Turbine is a patented combustion technology called ‘Swirl Mesh Lean Direct Injection (LDI) system’

The main power train will be the electric motors but the onboard power would be generated by the Micro Gas Turbine, developed jointly by NCCRD and Aerostrovilos Energy, an IITM-incubated start-up. This Micro Gas Turbine will replace the large battery.

After the technology was demonstrated on a lab scale, Ashok Leyland signed a letter of support to develop this technology for the heavy vehicles segment with NCCRD, IIT Madras. As part of the collaboration, Ashok Leyland handed over to NCCRD a 9-meter passenger electric bus. This bus would be converted as part of the series of vehicles having a hybrid powertrain with the micro gas turbine developed by NCCRD and Aerostrovilos.

Highlighting the key outcomes from this collaboration, Prof. Sathya Chakravarthy, Coordinator, NCCRD, IIT Madras, said, “This marks our conviction of not only working with the industry on innovative technological solutions of societal impact but also pushing the inhouse developments on innovation to see the light of day with the industry.”

This collaboration will enable the development and demonstration of a series of vehicles with a hybrid concept equipped with this Micro Gas Turbine call the ‘Turbine electric vehicle’ (TEV). The aim of this project is to establish a power train that has ultra-low emissions, low cost of ownership, fuel flexibility, and a reliable system for long-range heavy vehicles.

The key advantages of this series hybrid configuration with this new micro turbine technology include an overall lighter power train (high weight-to-power ratio), ultra-low emissions, multiple fuel capabilities (eg. Biogas, CNG, LNG, Diesel, Hydrogen, etc. ), and an overall low cost of ownership.


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