Fastest EV drive – 4003 km in 4 days

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Fastest EV drive – 4003 km in 4 days

Fastest EV drive – 4003 km in 4 days

The record for the fastest drive from Kashmir to Kanyakumari in an EV was set by EVO India driving the Tata Nexon EV. The drive created three IBR records, covering a total distance of 4003 km in 95 hours and 46 minutes.

The record for covering the maximum distance by an EV was set by EVO India. Starting from Srinagar, the team covered a total distance of 4003 km and reached Kanyakumari in an electric vehicle.

The record for covering the maximum distance in 24 hours by an EV was set by EVO India driving the Tata Nexon EV, wherein the team covered 1185 km from Kittur, Karnataka to Kanyakumari in 24 hours.

EVO India driving the Tata Nexon EV has set the India Book Record for the fastest drive from Kashmir (Srinagar) to Kanyakumari (K2K) in an electric vehicle (EV). Not only this, it created two more IBR records during the same expedition. The drive started on February 25, 2023, at 6.30 am from Srinagar, Kashmir, and ended on March 1, 2023, at 6.16 am in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu covering a total distance of 4003 km in 95 hours and 46 minutes. The route of the K2K drive included many cities from north to south, including Srinagar, Jammu, Pathankot, Ludhiana, Kaithal, Kotputli, Jaipur, Bhilwara, Udaipur, Himatnagar, Vadodara, Vapi, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Karad, Belagavi, Davangere, Tumakuru, Krishnagiri, Rasipuram, Dindigul, Tirunelveli, and Kanyakumari.

It was a non-stop journey and the car was stopped only for charging. On this journey, the electric SUV cut through the harsh weather conditions and a multitude of difficult terrains of the Indian subcontinent. The exercise was aimed at showcasing the prowess of the Nexon EV in managing high-speed and long-distance travel and also to highlight the availability of public charging networks through the length and breadth of the country. Powered by the high voltage state-of-the-art Ziptron technology, Nexon EV is built on pillars of comfort, reliability, performance, technology, and charging. The Ziptron EV architecture is driven and proven over 800 million km across diverse and challenging Indian terrain.

On this occasion, Vivek Srivatsa, Head, Marketing, Sales and Service Strategy, Tata Passenger Electric Mobility Ltd. (TPEM), said, “Being a new evolving technology, it is important to demonstrate the capabilities and possibilities of EVs in the real world and in real-time conditions. By setting out on this ambitious journey with the Nexon EV, we want to inspire existing and prospective EV owners by offering them conclusive proof of the benefits of the Nexon EV’s long-range, accompanied by the growing charging stations, installed by our ecosystem partners at Tata Power.”

Sirish Chandran, Editor of EVO India, himself was in the driving seat to make the first-ever K2K record run in an electric car a reality. His aim was to bust whatever myths and doubts that remain about electric cars and their usability in India. Just a few months ago he was up in the mountains with the Tata Nexon EV Max, scaling Umling La at 19,024 feet, and established an IBR record for the highest an electric car can go on a public road, anywhere in the world. Now he was to drive across the length of the country. TPEM’s Vivek Srivatsa and Anand Kulkarni were also in Srinagar to join the team for the first part of the journey.

The car was flagged off at 6.30 am from Srinagar by the India Book of Records Adjudicator Mohit Vats and Lt Col SK Bhosle. The flag-off was delayed by two hours as the Banihal-Qazigund tunnel was temporarily shut for maintenance. On the way, 50 km out of Srinagar at Bijbehara, the team saw an emergency runway of the Indian Air Force, where the NH1A transforms into a 3.5 km long landing strip. Further, they found a massive traffic jam before the Qazigund tunnel. One hour was lost in muscling through the jam. Four-laning work on full swing created another hindrance. The first charging point was at Jammu, next to the railway station, and the next one was at Pathankot. The team was comfortably moving ahead at a speed of 80-90 kmph. Another charge was done at Ludhiana while having a proper Punjabi dhaba dinner. In Haryana, the car was charged by Hop Charge vans at different locations.

Passing through Bhilwara in Rajasthan the team enjoyed plenty of samosas and cutting chai. In Udaipur, they were greeted with a cake and dinner by SP Automotive. At Vapi, the staff at Pramukh Automotive gave the EV a spit-and-polish while the team had a quick shower and an even quicker lunch. More cake at Garve Motors on the outskirts of Pune, where the rest of the EVO India team was also waiting to meet. Moving ahead, they reached Belgaum, where the Tata Power charger is fed by a solar farm – a showcase of renewable power that will have to be the future.

Ahead of Bengaluru, in the final stretch, the team finds that the roads were the best they had experienced on the entire drive. After Rasipuram and Vadipatti, they were heading toward their 21st and final charging stop. For the final leg Shailesh Chandra, MD of Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles (TMPV) and TPEM, and TPEM’s Vivek Srivatsa took over driving duties, and at 6.16 am, 95 hours and 46 minutes since the team departed Srinagar, after covering exactly 4003 km. Finally, the journey ended at Kanyakumari.

“You can drive 6-7 hours nonstop in an electric vehicle because they are far easier to drive, the lack of vibrations leading to less fatigue. The instant acceleration means quicker and safer overtakes so less stress. And with an EV designed for India, like the Nexon EV, you get enough and more ground clearance, a good ride, and good stable handling. In fact, it feels no different from an ICE, except for the added luxury of silence. Here, ICE is an acronym for an internal combustion engine, so an ICE car is any car that runs on a traditional engine with a gas-powered tank. Finally the running costs. In total, we consumed 568.679 kW of electricity which works out to Rs 12,759 (plus GST) for the entire drive. That’s 30 percent of what you’d spend in a diesel SUV. Easy on the environment, easy on the pocket, the electric cars are catching the fancy of the new-age car enthusiasts,” said Sirish.

Sirish said, “While our route was planned around the Tata Power charging network, we also wanted to experience other charging solutions in India and that’s where things get interesting. Cross over into Haryana at Ambala and you have two options — the regular highway that goes through Delhi, and the new Trans-Haryana expressway that cuts through the state, skipping all the traffic and the chaos that we have become so accustomed to. Except NH-152D opened just a few months ago and the infrastructure is yet to come up. The food malls aren’t fully operational. Fuel stations are few and far between. And there are no EV chargers. That’s where Hop Charge comes in. A valet kind of service, you give them your location and they will bring a van to juice you up. And there’s no diesel generator in the van, it’s a fully charged up battery that claims to be able to charge at 50kW.”

“We gave them the location of a food mall at Mandhwal where the van met us, a full-on professional team handled all the charging, and we went off in search of some grub, coming away empty handed because nothing is operational. There the charging was no quicker than the 25kW we’d used previously. But the convenience of this system is incredible and that not only helped us shave at least two hours over the regular highway but also experience a new road — 227km of six-lane access-controlled expressway, designed with safety in mind, properly signposted everywhere, all the overbridges well lit, in fact everything you see on expressways in Europe,” he added.

Sirish Chandran, Editor, EVO India, started testing cars and bikes straight out of engineering college, and nearly two decades on – despite a short detour to work for the best car company in the world – firmly believes that automotive journalism is the best job in the world. “I get paid to travel the world driving and riding the most incredible cars and bikes!” he gushes. Testing cars led him to rallying, winning his class in the Raid and Desert Storm rally raids. Learning the Scandinavian flick on an ice driving experience north of the Arctic Circle prompted him to enter the Indian rally series where he finished runner-up in the Group N 2000cc and 1600cc national championships. He also co-founded what was once India’s largest rally team, taking the first victory for the Polo in the Indian rally championship, and then recognising the incredible hurdle that is motorsport sponsorship he launched what is still India’s only motorsport magazine. Sirish is part of the Indian Car of the Year, Indian Motorcycle of the Year and World Car of the Year juries and also spearheads the Times Auto Awards in partnership with EVO India and Fast Bikes India.