NIT-K rolls out electric vehicles to make campus carbon neutral

In its initiative to make the sprawling campus spread over approximately 300 hectares carbon neutral, the National Institute of Technology – Karnataka (NIT-K) in Surathkal has now designed and developed 11 electric vehicles for use by students, teachers and staff members. .

The institute has also built a solar charging station to power the e-vehicles. Thanks to great financial support for his E-Mobility projects at the Center for System Design (CSD) by his alumni and donors.

Of the e-vehicles, three were scooters, a folding scooter, two bicycles and five bicycles.

Pruthviraj U., head of E-Mobility Projects, told The Hindu that one of the two bicycles is being used by security personnel at the campus surveillance institute. Another bike has been given to the Forest Department for surveillance in the Kudremukh National Park area. The other vehicles are in use on campus and are geo-fenced.

“The initiative started when the COVID-19 lockdown started. The team, made up of students, researchers and teachers from various disciplines of science and technology, did not relax. It has taken full advantage of the past two lock-downs and other days to realize the projects in phases,” said Mr Pruthviraj, who is also the assistant professor in the Institute’s Department of Water Resources and Ocean Engineering.

The alumni of 1970, 1972 and 1981 contributed a large part of the projects. Setting up the charging station with five charging units, research and development, design, materials and rolling out 11 vehicles has cost about ₹50 lakhs.

In addition, Mr Pruthviraj said that the institute will roll out 20 more e-cycles, an automatic e-trolley and an e-bike for the use of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) unit at an estimated cost of ₹15 lakhs, borne by the 1972 alumni batch, in the coming days.

“The CSD team, led by KV Gangadharan, professor of mechanical engineering, consists of 37 members, from various disciplines of science and technology, 11 of whom work exclusively on the design and development of e-vehicles,” he said.

AS Karanth, a 1970 batch alumnus who is the lead coordinator of the batch to set up the charging station at a cost of about Rs. 20 lakh, said: “Our goal is to ensure that the campus becomes carbon neutral. The charging station is the need of the campus to realize this. Vehicles need the feed to be able to drive. The charging station will discipline charging and help collect the data, in addition to motivating everyone to use e-vehicles.”

Research and development of e-vehicles provided students with a great experience during their studies, said Mr Karanth, a wind energy expert.


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