Now testing viability of the paint for all its passenger cars
MUMBAI, NOVEMBER 23
To make cars lighter and faster and more aerodynamic, automakers typically work on vehicle design and lighter materials, but what is rarely ever thought about is the impact of a paint job on the car’s overall weight and aerodynamics.
Mahindra Racing, which calls itself a product company within the Mahindra & Mahindra Group, has been able to achieve significant weight reduction to its Formula E car by discovering a special paint that can reduce the weight of the car by 3.5 kg. The same paint could soon be seen on M&M cars too.
“This is a new technology that we found through Pininfarina. Pininfarina designers connected us with an Italian partner who is still in stealth mode and we have been able to reduce 3.5 kg and now it’s becoming a competitive advantage,” Dilbagh Gill, CEO of Mahindra Racing Formula E team, told BusinessLine.
To make formula cars faster, the company was looking at new materials that could reduce the weight of the car. But the paint turned out to be a cheaper way to do it.
“Normally, it takes us more than €100,000 to take out one kg of weight. The new paint costs us only €4,000 to reduce one kg of weight. So that’s just about €14,000 to take out 3.5 kg vs €350,000,” Gill said.
Not only is the new paint lighter, nothing sticks to the paint, making the car more efficient even aerodynamically.
M&M is now testing the viability of the paint for all its passenger cars.
This is just one of the ways in which Mahindra Racing is adding innovation to its parent company. According to Gill, Mahindra Racing is acting not as a racing team for M&M, but as a test bed of innovation where new technologies can be quickly tested and introduced back to M&M.
“Our goal is technology transfer, while a typical racing team is for purely racing. At every stage, we start passing on knowledge to Mahindra Electric and Mahindra Research Valley,” Gill said.
Mahindra Racing has been able to develop a platform for extremely high voltage electric cars that can work on 1000V batteries. This is in sharp contrast to Mahindra Electric, which is so far working only on 48V and 72V batteries. The new platform will help increase the speeds of electric cars and also the range that it can offer without requiring a charge.
On the gear box side, Mahindra Racing has moved from a five-speed gearbox to a single-speed one, which means there is no need to change gears while driving, even in a manual gear transmission.
“With advancement of technology, we have reduced the number of gears, which reduces the number of moving parts and also reduces the chances of a breakdown,” Gill said.
And unlike Formula One cars, where it is impossible to take most of the features built for the F1 car to a road car, Gill says whatever Mahindra Racing is building for its Formula E car can go directly into a road car.
“We cannot pull out a formula one engine and put it on a road car. But a Formula E engine can straight away be put in a road car. Many others have done it, we will do it when the time comes,” Gill said.[Fonte: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com]