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

The e-bike designed and developed by NITK, Surathkal, for its campus surveillance.

The e-bike designed and developed by NITK, Surathkal, for its campus surveillance. | Photo Credit: RAVIPRASAD KAMILA

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

The institute has also built a solar powered charging station to feed the e-vehicles. Thanks to major financial support for its E-Mobility Projects at the Centre for System Design (CSD) by its alumni and donors.

Of the e-vehicles included three scooters, a foldable scooter, two bikes and five cycles.

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

“The initiative began when the COVID-19 lock down began. The team comprising students, research scholars and faculty from different disciplines of science and technology did not relax. It made best use of the past two lock downs and other days to make the projects a reality in phases,” Mr. Pruthviraj, who is also the Assistant Professor at the Department of Water Resources and Ocean Engineering at the institute said.

The alumni of 1970, 1972 and 1981 have contributed major share for the projects. The setting up of the charging station having five charging units, research and development, design, materials and the rolling out of 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 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, headed by K.V. Gangadharan, a Professor of Mechanical Engineering, comprises 37 members, from different disciplines of science and technology, of whom 11 members exclusively work on designing and developing e-vehicles,” he said.

A.S. Karanth, an alumnus of 1970 batch who is the lead co-ordinator of the batch for setting up the charging station at a cost of about Rs. 20 lakh, said: “Our aim is to see that the campus became carbon neutral. The charging station is the need of the campus to achieve it. Vehicles need the feed to run. The charging station provides discipline in charging and helps in collecting the data in addition to motivating all to use e-vehicles.”

Research and development of e-vehicles provided a great on-hand experience to students during their study, Mr. Karanth, an expert on wind energy, said.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 2:53:28 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/nit-k-rolls-out-electric-vehicles-to-make-campus-carbon-neutral/article65407503.ece