In July this year, Mahindra and Mahindra introduced the Scorpio 2.2-litre mHawk with Intelli-Hybrid technology. A couple of days ago, the carmaker introduced the Intelli-Hybrid technology on the Scorpio 1.99-litre mHawk version as well. Mahindra calls its new mild hybrid technology asIntelli-Hybrid.
A few years back, Mahindra introduced the Scorpio Micro Hybrid version which comes equipped with a start-stop system. This system can detect when the engine is idling in neutral gear andwould automatically turn off the engine after 2-3 seconds. To start the engine again, all that the driver has to do is engage the clutch pedal.
The term hybrid denotes those vehicles which use a combination of an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. In comparison, the term micro hybrid is used to classify automobiles that have a start-stop system as well as a regenerative braking system. The latter harnesses the energy during braking and uses it to charge the battery. At the launch, Scorpio Micro Hybrid didn't come equipped with a regenerative braking system. Mahindra says that it had introduced the Brake Energy Regeneration System on the XUV and TUV models in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
As Shumi pointed out in 2013, the Micro Hybrid name was being used for marketing purpose and to distinguish it from the regular Scorpio models. So when Mahindra introduced the Intelli-Hybrid technology, we were keen to find out what it does and how different it is from Mahindra's Micro Hybrid system.
Just like the Micro Hybrid, the Intelli-Hybrid technology also gets start-stop technology. Additionally, it offers power assist and regenerative braking function and has a gear shift indicator on the instrument console. To accommodate the Intelli-Hybrid technology, Mahindra utilises a more powerful 14V battery. The conventional alternator has been replaced by an electric motor which is also mounted on the engine. Mahindra calls it the 'Belt Driven Starter Generator' or BSG and says that it performs a power assist as well as energy re-generation function.
This is what Mahindra calls the 'Belt Driven Starter Generator' or BSG
The BSG acts like a generator by recovering the kinetic energy which usually gets lost during braking and converts it to electricity. This is in turn utilised to charge the battery. The sensors and controllers can detect when the vehicle is braking and switches into generator mode. It then harnesses the braking energy by working as a generator. This technology is effective while the vehicle is being driven in typical rush hour stop-and-go traffic.
This image indicates the power flow during re-generation mode
The sensors and controllers in the Intelli-Hybrid system can also detect if the driver has started to accelerate hard depending on the accelerator pedal input. It then goes into power assist mode, and the BSG begins to function like a typical electric motor. It takes power from the re-generated energy stored in the battery and augments the engine torque. It assists the diesel engine during overtaking manoeuvre by providing additional power. Mahindra says that by playing this dual role and enabling better power optimisation, the Intelli-Hybrid system improves the engines efficiency.
This diagram represents the power flow when the BSG is performing a power assist function
Srinivas Aravapalli, senior vice president and head of product development at Mahindra, says that the entire battery management system has been developed completely in-house. The electric motor has been sourced from Valeo while Bosch has developed the software which controls its interaction with the diesel engine. The company filed three patent applications during the development of Intelli-Hybrid system.
This is a schematic diagram of the Mahindra Intelli-Hybrid technology
Compared to the Micro Hybrid system, the Intelli-Hybrid offers a bit more technology on paper. The powertrain has been modified to accommodate the BSG, and the front-end auxiliary drive is revamped. Mahindra also says that the Scorpio Intelli-Hybrid is more fuel-efficient than the Scorpio Micro Hybrid. Also, as per standard MIDC test cycles, the Scorpio Intelli-Hybrid is around 7 per cent more efficient than the regular version.
To find out how it fares in the real world in typical rush hour stop-and-go traffic and whether it offers any performance and efficiency gains, we will be testing it soon. Stay tuned for more.