Concept car with upcycled auto parts unveiled – The Hindu

March 5, 2022 by No Comments

Kripa Ananthan, ex-Mahindra & Mahindra design chief, builds for micro-mobility and sustainability

Kripa Ananthan, ex-Mahindra & Mahindra design chief, builds for micro-mobility and sustainability

Automotive designer and former head of design at Mahindra & Mahindra Limited, Kripa Ananthan, who has in the past designed iconic vehicles, including the Scorpio and the Thar, kicked off her entrepreneurial journey with the unveiling of a new prototype car, the Two2, which is built for micro-mobility and sustainability.

Ms. Ananthan, who recently quit her job at Mahindra & Mahindra after over 24 years with the automobile manufacturer, has worked on a diverse portfolio of products ranging from SUVs to small commercial vehicles, trucks to tractors, as well as construction equipment. Apart from the Scorpio and the Thar, she designed the Bolero and Mahindra and Mahindra’s XUV family of vehicles, and concepts such as the Aero, Atom, UDO, Stinger and Funster. 

“With Mahindra, it’s like a family. So it wasn’t an easy decision…but I felt I wanted to take up something more challenging on my own. I am one of those Monday morning bright-eyed people who just love their job,” she said, talking about her decision to leave M&M.

About two months ago, Ms. Ananthan launched the Krux Studio, a design services provider for the automotive industry. The firm has onboarded three clients. 

“The world is exploding, and there are so many new things happening and I wanted a piece of that pie. And this for me is just the beginning. I am two months into the journey, and it’s really exciting from the point of view of what I can create. Whether it’s remunerative or not, I’ll find out, but at this point in my life, it’s more about the excitement,” she said.

The Two2 is a two-door, two-seater electric vehicle, about 2.5 metre in length and almost as wide as an autorickshaw. “It’s a concept that carries a lot of ideas, such as upcycling of parts, and more products can be designed using these ideas,” she said. The concept uses about 20% upcycled/recycled parts from end-of-life products. For example, the headlights, bumpers, seats, doors, handles, steering wheel, and glass, have been upcycled. There’s a possibility of upcycling more parts.

.“This four-wheeler is the smallest in India, is safe and protective, and easy to drive, manoeuvre and park…This prototype is largely handmade, except for a few parts. But that’s only for the concept,” said Ms Ananthan, an alumna of Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay and the Post Experience Programme of the Royal College of Arts, London.

“One of the triggers for me to build this concept was the discussions around end-of-life vehicles…In the Kurla [scrap] market here in Mumbai or the Mayapuri market in Delhi, there are thousands, maybe even millions of cars. According to estimates, by 2025, 22 million vehicles will be at the end-of-life, that got me thinking. To top it up there is the issue of urban congestion. Metro connectivity is great but last mile connectivity is still an issue… We are seeing issues related to pollution and climate change,” she said.

KRUX Studio is currently looking for partners to collaborate in taking concepts to production.

“There is a need for urban micro mobility with a vehicle that uses recycled parts. In India, nobody till now has used upcycled parts in production…for upcycling, you will need to source these …….



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