Exclusive: Detroit Engineered Products plans big-ticket investment in India, reveals prototype electric scooter

by Sricharan R 31 Jan 2020

Detroit Engineered Products (DEP), the leading engineering solutions and product development company, with footprints in Europe, China, Korea, Japan, and India, is betting big on the Indian marketplace. The company, recently showcased the technology prototype of its electric scooter, which has an extended range of 150km and a maximum speed of 80kph earlier this month, has confirmed a new big-ticket investment in its Pune centre by end-2020.

Speaking exclusively to Autocar Professional, Radha Krishnan, founder and president of DEP, said: “By the end of 2020, we want to expand our engineering service operations in Pune. We will be making it a 50-strong team, and invest a couple of million dollars for the same. We are also looking for the possibility to have a new direct office somewhere in the Far East like Malaysia or Indonesia.”

New electric scooter with solar panels  
Revealing details about the electric two-wheeler prototype, he said, “80 percent of the vehicle was designed and developed in India. Certain engineering aspects were carried out in the USA as well. In the next phase, we will be adding solar panels on the exterior, which will add another 20 percent of additional energy to the vehicle. Though the idea is ours, we will be licensing the technology, design, and engineering to OEMs who are interested in manufacturing it. So far, we are in discussion with 5-6 companies in India who have shown interest in the EV.”

According to DEP, the highlights of the electric scooter are removable and swappable batteries; a lithium-ion battery pack capacity of 4 KWh; 0-60kph in 7 seconds and solar panels across the external body that help add 20 percent more energy.

The electric scooter was part of DEP’s Product Development (PD) team’s display in Chennai, along with other innovative products such as a drone and high-efficiency engine. They also launched the latest version of the company’s CAE software product, MeshWorks 2020. 

The body of the e-scooter was reverse-engineered from an existing model and has been given a styling, engineering design which is optimised to give the lowest drag. It has been converted from a conventional vehicle to an electric one and boasts several advanced capabilities developed by the team such as optimised vehicle dynamics, removable batteries, extended range, and improved battery pack.

The final version of DEP’s electric scooter will be displayed in the Auto Expo Components Show 2020 at Pragati Maidan in early February 2020 – at the Green and Future Technologies Pavilion (Hall 4A first floor, Stall No. 208).

Software that slashes CAE modeling time by 50 percent
DEP’s MeshWorks is a CAE-driven platform for rapid concept CAE and CAD model generation, meshing, morphing, and processing. The 2020 version of the software is said to reduce the CAE modeling time by 50 percent compared to its previous versions. 

“It is a parametric model now. You can instantly modify the design once you have modeled it. And, MeshWorks is also associative modeling. When CAD changes the model, it also changes the CAE model and vice versa. With this advanced launch, we plan to drastically bring down the go-to-market gestation period and bring up profitability. Engineers will benefit from the new functionality,” he mentioned.

DEP has also been working on to convert a diesel engine to petrol. The software and solution company working on it for quite some time and will come out soon with the final version. According to Radha Krishnan, “We are at the final stages of validation and we will soon come out with the engine. The goal is to help the light and medium-duty trucks in India to run on petrol. We are converting a diesel engine into a petrol engine, which will be very useful, because of its lesser emission and more pulling capacity.”

The Michigan-based company has also developed a drone which helps in scaring away birds in the vicinity of airport and runways. As bird hits are common at military airbases in India, DEP has designed and developed a 7-foot fixed-wing drone that has an ultrasonic emission device, an audible sound emitter, and a camera.