By Devaki Bhooshan
Mahindra Reva’s Indian Green Building Council-rated manufacturing unit represents a paradigm shift in automobile manufacturing
Mahindra Reva not just creates India’s only commercially produced Electric Car— Mahindra e2o, it has also created a paradigm shift in automobile manufacturing. With India’s first IGBC-Platinum rated state of the art manufacturing unit in Bengaluru, the company can manufacture upto 30,000 electric cars per year in a set up unlike any other.
The evolution is not just at the architecture and design level, but Mahindra Reva has also relooked at conventional production lines. All aspects of the manufacturing process and the facility’s design are a reflection of the company’s commitment to the environment and its determination to use clean technology.
On regular days, there is no requirement of artificial lighting inside the plant. The plant is designed to maximise the use of natural light. If required, the plant is lit with 100 percent LED lighting that consumes 1/3rd the energy of regular lighting. The side sheets are made up of polycarbonate that allows uniform dispersion of light.
There are focused measures undertaken, for example:
Energy Efficiency: 35 percent of the power supplied to the plant is from Solar Energy, which is received from Mahindra Reva’s own Solar Park. It is close to 72KW.
Water: The plant has the capacity to store 48,000L of rain water. On-site rain water harvesting with a drip irrigation system for landscape has helped the company with 100 percent water treatment and reuse of grey water.
Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ): Natural ventilation, cooling and lighting are top priority. Regular plants have 12 air changes per hour, but this plant has 15 air changes per hour for circulating fresh air. This is achieved using GRAVENTS— Gravity Ventilation without using energy. The roof of the plant is coated with SRI (Solar Reflective Index) paint and special insulation, to keep the interiors cool.
Today, most manufacturing units have paint shops, which is a huge contributor to pollution. Mahindra Reva has circumvented the paint shop at the facility. Instead, the body panels of the Mahindra e2o are made of high-quality colour-impregnated ABS that are bonded and not welded. Power consumption and noise pollution caused by welding machines is also reduced. At one of the stages at the shop-floor, the energy from running wheels in the dynamometer test is re-captured for later use.
The Solar Park helps harvest around 35 percent of the plant’s daily energy needs. It helps save up to 53,000 kg of CO2 emissions per year and22,000 litres of diesel per year.Use of LED lights across the unit ensures reduction of energy consumption by 40 percent. Further to this, there is 30 percent savings in potable water through usage of low flow rate faucets.
Also LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited, the manufacturing facility is currently the world’s largest functioning exemplification of a plant dedicated to the assembly of electric vehicles,boasting one of the lowest dirt-to-dust carbon footprints in the automotive sphere.
The factory has received a score of 82 out of 100 and is Platinum rated by IGBC, which considered Site Selection and Planning, Water Conservation, Energy Conservation, Material Conservation, Indoor Environment Quality and Occupational Health and Innovation in Design as key parameters during the rating.
The biggest challenge in the project was to get a ‘world class’ facility designed, completed and running at a frugal budget, keeping sustainability at the core. Developing a key source of renewable energy—our Solar Park was coupled to be used as a parking area in order to optimise space.
Mahindra Reva’s vision is to contour the future of automotive mobility, a mandate distinctly articulated in its 5-Cframework—Clean, Connected, Convenient, Clever and Cost Effective. With both the e2o andits manufacturing unit, the automobile stalwart successfully fulfils this intent.
Project: Mahindra Reva Manufacturing Plant
Location: Bommasandra Industrial Area, Bengaluru, India
Certification: ‘Platinum’ rating from Indian Green Building Council (IGBC)
Total area: 4.2 acres
Completion: August 2012
This article appeared in the October 2015 issue of Pure & Eco India