Tomorrow, General Motors India will unveil the Chevrolet Beat Electric, at Delhi, as a reaffirmation of GM’s ability to build clean and green cars. The car will continue the still born Chevrolet Spark Electric’s legacy but with a definitive twist in the way electric power is generated to power the car’s wheels.
While the Chevrolet Spark Electric used lithium ion batteries which could have pushed the cost of the production model to close to 7 Lakh rupees or it’s whereabouts, which made it a not so attractive option. The Chevrolet Beat could instead usher in a battery charging system like that of the mainstream production electric model, the Chevrolet Volt Hybrid.
Chevrolet Beat Hybrid's Schematic Diagram
Now, how does the Chevrolet Volt work? It works through a series hybrid system. For a limited distance of say up to 50 km, the Volt Hybrid will run on electric power from it’s battery stack. Once the charge of the battery stack gets depleted to a certain level, the internal combustion engine that will act as a power generator will kick in to juice up the battery stack which will in turn power the Volt’s electric motor.
In this way, the fuel consumed by the generator is quite minimal and the Volt Hybrid runs mainly as a series hybrid for longer distances while shorter distances are covered in all electric mode. A system like this will be quite apt for a place like India where access to electric charging points still remains a major challenge. The Chevrolet Beat Electric is touted to feature such a system keeping India as a potential future market in mind.
For now though, the Chevrolet Beat Electric is still at the concept stage and production plans for the car is something that GM India hasn’t thought about just as yet. Therefore, the idea of showcasing the Chevrolet Electric Beat remains one of gauging the market response to this plug in hybrid car and whether it would be a worthwhile idea to produce it in the future for emerging markets like India.