Iran Khodro (IKCO) to Mass Produce Hybrids, Evs

Iran Khodro (IKCO) to Mass Produce Hybrids, Evs
Iran Khodro (IKCO) to Mass Produce Hybrids, Evs

Iran Khodro Company, the country's leading vehicle manufacturer, signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday with two of Iran's most prestigious universities to design and produce hybrid and electric vehicles.  

According to IRNA, along with the chancellors of Sharif University of Technology and Amirkabir University of Technology, the Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh and the Minister of Science, Research and Technology Mohammad Farhadi were also present at the ceremony.

The MoU stipulates that the two universities and IKCO will cooperate to design, test and manufacture EVs and hybrids.  

The team hopes to acquire the technical knowledge necessary for designing and manufacturing EVs and hybrids so that such vehicles can be mass produced in future.  

The design and manufacturing of EVs and hybrids will be done in three steps. First, the technical and economic details will be prepared.  In the next step, the project will shift to design and modeling. The team will ultimately finalize the technical knowledge for manufacturing on larger industrial levels.

IKCO wishes to present EVs and hybrids on its product lists in the near future, the company's CEO Hashem Yekehzare said, adding that foreign experts will be consulted.  The CEO said IKCO will be able to mass produce hybrids in three years.

"Hopefully the needed infrastructure will also be provided during the same time across the country," he said.

The company will design a new platform for hybrids and the first vehicle made on this platform will be released next year (begins March 20).

  Hybrid Variations

Hossein Farsiani, IKCO's strategic and planning deputy, classified hybrids in four categories: stop-start, mild hybrid, full hybrid and plug-in hybrids.

The stop-start system automatically shuts down and restarts the internal combustion engine to reduce the amount of time the engine spends idling, thereby reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

Mild hybrids are generally internal combustion engines equipped with an electric machine allowing the engine to be turned off whenever the car is coasting, braking, or stopped, yet restart quickly.

Full hybrid cars can run using just battery power without using the traditional engine. This makes them more fuel efficient than a mild hybrid. The electric motor is used at low speeds, where the electric motor is much more efficient than the gas-powered engine.

  Government Agenda

President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated two new hybrid cars produced by Iran Khodro in March.

The two plug-in hybrid cars, based on the regular IKCO Runna, have so far not made it into production. Other smaller local manufacturers have also begun to build hybrid and electric vehicles. The country's first producer of fully electric vehicles, Diar Khodro manufactured its first EV, named Sabrina, in 2014, Fars News Agency reported in January.

Diar Khodro presented two of its newest EVs, the Sabrina E150 and E200 at an electric car symposium mid-June. It was announced at the event that the Sabrinas would be added to the country's taxi fleet with the support of the government and other affiliated organizations later this year.  

The company's representative also announced that the R&D for the production of another EV called "Senova" is done and the vehicle will be produced in the near future.

Despite the growing popularity of hybrids and EVs across the world, they have had a slow take-up in Iran over the past 12 months and there is much to be done to prepare the necessary infrastructures.