Born to a farming family in Maharashtra’s Nimbhari village, 21-year-old Yuvraj Pawar has had an interest in machines from a young age. “In class 4, as part of a school competition, I made a floor cleaning machine with thermocol and a motor,” he tells The Better India in an interview. Yuvraj was awarded the first prize for that innovation and there was no looking back for the young inventor.
Over the years, he’s created about 30 inventions from agricultural products like cultivator machines to sewing machines and everyday items like wooden night lamps. “Challenges are unique to the product I’m building. I have to be innovative and find a solution to each new problem.” His process involves a lot of trial and error, constant experimentation, and more importantly, not giving up.
Throughout his journey, he’s received much support from his family who funded his equipment and tools, and from the village community at large. “It’s because of the support I receive at home that I’ve been able to come this far. Otherwise, it would have stopped in class 4 itself,” he says. “The villagers also stand with me whenever I face a problem, and share whatever knowledge they have with me.”
While he’s had their support, Yuvraj has had to figure out a solution to each new technical problem on his own, having no particular guide or mentor along the way. But following this passion for problem-solving, he is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering from Pune’s Kashibai Navale College of Engineering.
Today, his most stand-out invention is the vintage-looking electric cars he’s created, which he has christened — Yuvraj 3.0. For these, he’s got orders from all over the country, including Goa, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh, among others.
The process started with two-wheelers he thought of making in the spare time he had during the COVID lockdown. But from there, he quickly progressed to cars.
He used the Computer Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application (CATIA) and Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to design the automobile. Once he had his product planned out, Yuvraj went about collecting all the material he needed to begin the manufacturing process.
His first model used the engine of his father’s old bike, while the rest of the steel body was sourced from waste and any excess material lying around in his workshop. “And for whatever parts I couldn’t source, I designed and manufactured those myself.” It was ready in three months.
Given its unique and refined look, it quickly gained popularity within the village. “When I started driving the car around the village, people start looking at me differently. They liked it so much that they wanted to be photographed with it. I became famous throughout the village.” Soon after, he received his first order from Sunil Gadakh, the brother of the village’s MLA.
The cars are available in red, black, white, or any other desired colour. “It all depends on the customer,” he says.
Yuvraj decided to make his latest invention electric. His cars are now built with a charging facility. “There’s a growing market for electric vehicles these days. It’s also better for the environment since there’s no pollution. And it’s more convenient to use,” he explains about the switch.
These can run on either a lithium-ion battery or a lithium ferro phosphate battery, depending on the customer’s requirements. After a three-hour charge, it can travel about 120 km. “We make it in a way that it can be charged by the electric board in one’s home.”
It’s sold for anywhere between Rs 2,60,000 and Rs 3,30,000, depending on the customer’s bandwidth. Keeping in mind the budget, he uses particular batteries and body parts to complete the car. Today, he has three models and is currently working on developing a fourth, and has built nine cars so far.
He has also got a patent registered for his invention and is awaiting approval.
Besides his love for creating and inventing, his efforts are also fuelled by his deep love for cars. “I have six two-wheelers and four cars. I’ve restored some of the vintage bikes myself. The scooters help me better understand how a vehicle functions,” he says. “I can’t explain it. I just love cars,” he adds.
Going forward, Yuvraj plans to complete his studies while continuing to invent new and exciting items.
Read the story in Hindi here.
Edited by Yoshita Rao