Seven mechanical engineering students of the Delhi College of Engineering (DCE) put together the prototype of the country's first gasoline-electric hybrid car. Named "The Fledge". The DCE hybrid car participated in the annual green car festival organised
by the North-East Sustainable Energy Association of the United States in May 2006.
The model was worked on by a team of sixth semester students -- Abhinav Bhatia, Abhinav Duggal, Abhishek Agarwal, Anubhav Jain, Ashish Dudani, Nitesh Gupta and Siddharth Arora.
"Necessity is the mother of all inventions and the mounting burden of petroleum prices on the common man had kindled a spark in the DCE students to unearth this new technology with a revolutionary drive train," said Abhishek Agarwal, the leader of the seven-member
A 200-Ah lead acid battery with a 1.3 litre fuel tank will provide the energy storage system. Power transmission in the car occurs on the engine as well as the motor mode providing the user with the option of switching to either mode at any point of their
journey. A powerful 18 BHP, 346 cc engine along with a 3.5HP, 3000 rpm permanent magnet DC motor serves the very purpose.
Made with the support of the Central Department of Science and Technology and Mahindra and Mahindra, `The Fledge' a one person hybrid vehicle competed with 55 other participants at the "TourDeSol" competition. With a goal of reducing oil use and climate
change emissions, the 2006 Tour de Sol, America’s #1 green car show and competition driving toward zero carbon emissions, showcased a variety of cutting-edge technologies that address the energy and climate change crises, offering both short-term and long-term
solutions including some that are available on the market today.
"The current hybrids available in this world are very expensive as compared to normal cars, so we have tried to reduce the cost and we have tried to think of simple systems by not using the complicated systems," says Anubhav Jain, adding, " We are making
a vehicle for the common person in India who commutes to his office, which is in the range of about 30 kilometers. So ... he has the option [with a vehicle like ours] for electric mode, which has more range." He says it would cost about $10,000 to go into
production with Fledge.
The top honors in the competition went to West Philadelphia High School and St. Mark’s School, Southborough, MA. However, the entry from India was commented upon as
"This vehicle was designed to address the transportation needs of millions of people in India that presently use highly polluting motorcycles by presenting them with a practical, very efficient hybrid option." says the TordeSol communication.