Lu­cas TVS is ready to meet the new powe­train wave

Auto components India - - STORY - Story by: Bhar­gav TS & Sricha­ran R

The Chen­nai-based Lu­cas TVS Ltd, In­dia’s lead­ing au­to­mo­tive elec­tri­cal equip­ment man­u­fac­turer and a mem­ber of the TVS Group, is com­ing up with a new trac­tion mo­tor for elec­tric ve­hi­cles. “The trac­tion mo­tor is our first step to­wards the new things that are hap­pen­ing in In­dia. The mo­tors will be of 1 kWh, 3 kWh and 5 kWh and will be able to power, e-rick­shaw and e-au­tos. This is the area we think the EVs will come first,” Aravind Balaji, Joint Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Lu­cas TVS, told Au­toCom­po­nentsIn­dia.

Lu­cas TVS sup­plies to over 90% of au­to­mo­tive man­u­fac­tur­ers in In­dia and ex­ports to North Amer­ica and Europe. It started with starters and dy­namos, and over the years, com­menced pro­vid­ing com­plete sys­tem so­lu­tions for auto elec­tri­cals, spe­cialised mo­tors for air com­pres­sors, stop-start sys­tems, en­gine cool­ing mod­ules, ig­ni­tion prod­ucts, diesel fuel in­jec­tion sys­tems etc.

Lu­cas TVS has es­tab­lished R&D and Prod­uct Prov­ing and Re­li­a­bil­ity test­ing fa­cil­i­ties, which have been recog­nised by the De­part­ment of Science and Tech­nol­ogy of Govern­ment of In­dia. “We will fo­cus on elec­tri­cal and elec­tronic prod­ucts. We will ex­pand in the area we are grow­ing well,” he added.

About the trac­tion mo­tors, D Babu­raj, Se­nior Gen­eral Man­ager- Mar­ket­ing, Lu­cas TVS said, “The whole world is go­ing to­wards elec­tric mo­tors and we want to be present in that. To start with, we are con­cen­trat­ing on e-rick­shaws and e-au­tos. To be more pre­cise, we are start­ing with e-rick­shaws in the NCR where they are pre­dom­i­nantly used. We are work­ing with 3 se­lected cus­tomers and we will sup­ply the trac­tion mo­tors to them in a cou­ple of months.”

“The new mo­tors are Brush Less DC (BLDC) mo­tors and they will be man­u­fac­tured in our Pondicherry fa­cil­ity. The out­put of the mo­tor will be around 1 kWh to a max­i­mum of 1.7 kWh. For the e-au­tos, we have de­vel­oped the mo­tor and will do the val­i­da­tion with a renowned cus­tomer in 3-4 months. It will be of 3 kWh out­put. We have been sup­ply­ing the BLDC mo­tors for white goods ap­pli­ca­tions like re­frig­er­a­tors and com­pres­sors,” he added.

A sim­i­lar tech­nol­ogy has also been de­vel­oped for two-and three-wheel­ers which is also in the devel­op­ment stage. The mo­tors will be out for val­i­da­tion in 6-8 months. The BLDC mo­tors have longer life and since they are per­ma­nent mag­net mo­tors, they have higher torque. Be­ing the lat­est tech­nol­ogy, the whole au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try is look­ing for new prod­ucts and a few are us­ing them for their en­gine cool­ing fans on a trial ba­sis.

About the reg­u­la­tions in the EV seg­ment, Babu­raj said, “Reg­u­la­tions are only for the full unit and there is no spe­cific reg­u­la­tion for our prod­uct. Our com­pany and the group fol­low a stan­dard that is re­quired to meet the reg­u­la­tions. We treat this new mo­tor as an au­to­mo­bile mo­tor and fol­low all specs ap­pli­ca­ble. That is why the qual­ity of the prod­uct is much bet­ter than the Chi­nese mo­tors.”

Lu­cas TVS is ready for the EVs and also the IC en­gines. “With the EV there will be some dis­rup­tions in the short term. In the long-term it will be an op­por­tu­nity for us. We are look­ing at it in a pos­i­tive way. With the up­com­ing norms, changes will be mostly in cre­at­ing more ef­fi­ciency and we are do­ing that. Start/stop, change of starter mo­tor are also re­quired and we are work­ing on them. These will also com­ply with the CAFE norms that will come af­ter the BS-VI. For pas­sen­ger cars and com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles, we are work­ing on high vi­sion seat al­ter­na­tors, smart mo­tors and on elec­tron­ics con­trollers

and sen­sors,” Balaji said.

Adding to his points, Babu­raj said, other than the gear re­duc­tion starter and high-ef­fi­ciency al­ter­na­tor, OEMs are also look­ing for bet­ter al­ter­na­tors. The com­pany is look­ing for a com­bined starter gen­er­a­tor sys­tem and has de­vel­oped in both the 12 volt and 48 volt sys­tem. The 12 volt sys­tem is be­ing used in a few hy­brids now. With the BS-VI, peo­ple will slowly shift to the 48 volt, he said.

“With the re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing, what­ever en­ergy is lost is be­ing re­cov­ered. The new sys­tem is in the fi­nal stages of val­i­da­tion. When peo­ple start us­ing it, we will be ready to sup­ply that. A starter will be there in the ve­hi­cle and it will be used in the cold con­di­tions. The new sys­tem will also be in the ve­hi­cle and will be used only when the ve­hi­cle is stopped, for ex­am­ple in a sig­nal. The driver need not use the starter mo­tor to start the en­gine again. They can just start the ve­hi­cle by press­ing the pedal. These can be seen in the hy­brids,” Babu­raj said.

An­other ma­jor trend that is com­ing along with the BS-VI is light weight­ing. Lu­cas TVS is also ready with the prod­ucts for this. Many of the group com­pa­nies are mak­ing forged and cast com­po­nents to bring in the light­weight prod­ucts. “To meet the fuel ef­fi­ciency norms, it is very im­por­tant to re­duce the weight. We are look­ing at every way to re­duce the cost and weight,” Balaji said.

Babu­raj said they have ap­proached the light-weight­ing re­quire­ments and have a starter mo­tor with a power to weight ra­tio of 200 W/kg. Now, they have come up with a new mo­tor that has a power to weight ra­tio of 600 W/kg. “We have done this by us­ing dif­fer­ent and bet­ter com­po­nents and tech­nol­ogy. In the al­ter­na­tor, we have re­duced the weight wher­ever it is pos­si­ble.”

In or­der to meet the new en­vi­ron­men­tal strate­gies of In­dia, Lu­cas TVS has de­vel­oped stop-start sys­tems, in­te­gral starter gen­er­a­tors, emis­sion con­trol prod­ucts like urea pumps and brush­less mo­tor tech­nolo­gies. The com­pany has de­vel­oped in­no­va­tive prod­ucts, man­u­fac­tur­ing sys­tems and pro­cesses, which had brought growth in busi­ness. They have also helped Lu­cas TVS to be one of the few com­pa­nies in the World to be awarded the Dem­ing Ap­pli­ca­tion Prize and the Dem­ing Grand Prize, by the Union of Ja­panese Sci­en­tists & En­gi­neers and to set bench­marks in the in­dus­try. The com­pany is work­ing on dif­fer­ent fu­ture projects. One such devel­op­ment is the small mo­tors or what they call as the smart mo­tors, where no al­ter­na­tor will be re­quired.

“In the long run, when we to­tally switch over to EVs the al­ter­na­tor may not be needed. So, we are think­ing of di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion and of elec­tro­mag­netic parts where we con­cen­trate more on elec­tric mo­tors, me­chan­i­cal com­po­nents etc. We are also work­ing on EPAS, ABS and compressor mo­tors. We are sup­ply­ing the compressor mo­tor in large num­bers to WABCO. They are be­ing used in ve­hi­cles man­u­fac­tured in Ger­many. We have also started sup­ply­ing ABS mo­tors to the com­pany. We have de­vel­oped an elec­tric vac­uum pump. So far, it has been a me­chan­i­cal pump fit­ted on the al­ter­na­tor,” Babu­raj said.

Lu­cas TVS man­u­fac­tures wide range of starter mo­tors start­ing from 2W to CVs

Aravind Balaji, JMD, Lu­cas TVS

1. E-Rick­shaw 48V 1Kw BLDC Mo­tor 2. E-Auto BLDC Trac­tion Mo­tor 48V 3Kw 3. BLDC Trac­tion Mo­tor for 2W & 3W

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