Young Bhaderwah engineer creates history, converts iconic Beetle into electric car

SRINAGAR:  A  23-year-old engineer from Bhaderwah has created history by becoming the first Indian to convert a vintage car into an electric vehicle.

Mohammad Jawad Khan completed the project in eight months time and converted the 1948 Beetle into an electric car.

Hailing from the remote Gatha village of Bhaderwah, Jawad launched his startup `Tadpole Projects Pvt Ltd’ in the lockdown. Later, he started working on the maiden project of the Centre of Excellence for Research on Clean Air (CERCA) under the aegis of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi.

Eight months on, he became the first Indian to convert the vintage car into an electric vehicle with perfection. “Usually, it should take two months. But it took me around eight months to complete this project. It is a fully electric car and I am thankful to Arun Sir (Arun Duggal Founder of CERCA) for reposing faith in me and giving me a chance to work on this project,” Jawad told The Kashmir Monitor.

Coming from the Volkswagen family, the Beetle was made after the end of World War II in Germany. During that time 10,000 cars were manufactured as the factory was put under British control. It contains an old diesel engine that emits a large amount of carbon particles into the environment. The engine is air-cooled 1200CC (1.2lt) and comes with 4 manual gear transmission system. 

After the retrofitting, the car produced great torque and smooth traction. “The mileage goes around 50/70km as it can be increased by adding more batteries. The AC charging takes 6-7 hours and the DC charging system takes 40-50 min. It can also be controlled through the phone by using a Bluetooth dongle. The car is working full-on manual gear system as it produces more torque, speed, and efficiency. The 90% of car parts are original,” said Jawad.

In fact, it is the second time that Jawad has converted a fuel car into an electric vehicle. Last year, as a student he converted a vehicle into an electric car in Jammu. 

An alumnus of Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology, Punjab, Jawad completed his B.Tech in electric stream recently.

Coming from a humble family, Jawad’s father owns a store while his mother is a government teacher. He is the first generation engineer in the family.  “After converting the vintage car, I am getting good offers. My startup deals in retrofitting of cars and micro dams,” he said.Jawad, however, rued the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities back home. “I had even submitted a project to the authorities but to no avail. I had told them that I could help the government with micro dams. So far they have not shown any interest,” said Jawad.    

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