Engineering colleges across the State have witnessed a spate of innovative creations in the field of automobiles. Most of the recent ones have focused on the need to invent vehicles that run on alternative, non-polluting fuels and manage to perform as efficiently as those running on conventional fuels.

Continuing the trend is the prototype of a hybrid two-wheeler that is intended to combine the advantages of an electric and a conventional scooter. The basic idea behind the creation is to ensure that the vehicle does not run out of electric charge during a journey.

The hybrid two-wheeler has been developed by mechanical engineering students Hariprasad K.S., Arun P. Sunny, Amal R., Anand S. Kumar and Govind Krishnan as part of their final year project at the Mangalam College of Engineering here and has been christened HAAAG (an acronym for the names of its creators).

A unique feature of the vehicle is its 'mobile charging unit' (a generator) that would be initiated by the engine in the event of the battery running out of charge. Recharging will take place as the generator functions, thereby facilitating an unimpeded ride. In addition, the scooter can run on petrol.

According to Hariprasad, the scooter has been designed to run on two modes depending upon its speed. While the 'normal mode' would ensure a speed of 30 kmph, a speed of up to 45 kmph could be facilitated by the 'speed mode'.

The braking system of the vehicle has also been given much importance. In addition to the disk brake installed in the front, a regenerative braking system has been employed in order to ensure greater efficiency compared to the conventional mechanical braking.

The 12-volt sealed rechargeable lead acid battery takes nearly six hours for a full charge. While the battery can store a total electric charge of two units, the petrol tank has a capacity of 2.5 litres. In tests carried out by the students, the HAAAG scooter could traverse 130 km with a fully-charged battery and a full tank, they claimed.

The team developed the hybrid vehicle at an expense of Rs. 42,000 and the project took three months to complete.

Keywords: hybrid vehicles