In a recent notification by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), the Motor Vehicles Act 1989 will be amended to allow retro-fitment of a hybrid or an electric system on an existing vehicle. The yet to be approved notification (Rule 115-D) has been put forward in a bid to reduce vehicular pollution. As per the notification, the retro-fitment will be divided into three categories and shall conform to the requirements stipulated by the AIS-123 standards.
According to the draft, the first category will include passenger cars and small goods carriers, not exceeding a gross weight of 3500 kg, to get a hybrid system; while the second category will include vehicles exceeding the 3500 kg mark. The third category will be solely for the conversion of motor vehicles for pure electric operation by replacing the engine. The conversion from standard internal combustion engines (ICE) to hybrid or an electric powertrain will be allowed via authorised workshops. The electric or hybrid kit manufacturer or supplier will also have to attain an approval certificate from a testing agency, as prescribed by the government.
The future of older petrol and diesel vehicles has been in question ever since the government has been actively pursuing the ban/scrap of vehicles older the 15 years. The draft also proposes to offer incentives for owners that scrap vehicles older than 12 years, which will be reimbursed when buying a new vehicle. However, for those looking at retaining cars over a longer period, the conversion to an electric or hybrid powertrain just might be the way to go.
It's also a great way to keep vintage cars alive and kicking without necessarily keeping the older engines intact. A prime example of the same was the one-off MINI pictured above that was showcased at the New York Auto Show earlier this year. An electric Jaguar E-Type was also used at the Royal Wedding earlier this year by the newlyweds Prince Harry and the Dutchess of Susses Meghan Markle, as their official car.