With fuel prices showing no signs of coming down, private transport is increasingly becoming unviable for the common man. A team from Caarmel Engineering College, Perunad, in Pathanamthitta has come up with an innovation which could offer a solution.

The Hybrid Bike, developed by six final-year mechanical engineering students of the college, helps two-wheeler users save fuel and money, while delivering a more powerful ride.

College students R. Padmarajan, Ciby Thomas, Anoop B. Sam, K.J. Amal Lal, Jithin Varghese, and S. Shehin developed the ‘two-wheel-drive' bike, which runs on both engine and motor, as part of their final-year project work. They were guided by their teacher Pramod George and senior Midhun Kumar.

Two-wheel drive

“While the regular two-wheeler has only back wheel drive, Hybrid Bike has both front wheel and back wheel drive. This was achieved by attaching a separate battery-connected hub motor to the front wheel,” said Padmarajan.

“This is a new technology in automobile industry. By activating this two wheel drive system we can attain more power than in ordinary bikes,” he said.

The students modified a second hand CD-100 gear into Hybrid Bike by attaching 550 W battery and hub motor. Since the weight of the bike increased by only around 40 kg, its speed was not affected, Mr. Padmarajan said.

The driver will have the option of using either battery-run front wheel drive or engine-run back wheel drive, or both at the same time.

“When both engine and battery are used together, the bike is given a lot more power. Climbing slopes or driving in rough terrains will be easier,” he said.

Speed

The bike can achieve a speed of around 85 km per hour in double power mode, while in the battery mode alone it will have a speed of around 60 kmph.

Another major advantage of the bike is its fuel efficiency. The fully charged battery can run for 6.5 hours, using of three units of power at a cost of just Rs.10.

Since an alternator is meshed with the bike chain, it also enables automatic charging of the battery while on the run.

“Fuel consumption of two-wheelers increases when you are driving in by-lanes, slopes or in heavy traffic where you need to use lower gears or have to change the gear repeatedly. If you switch over to battery mode in these road conditions, this problem can be overcome,” Mr. Padmarajan said.

He added that the group was now planning to apply for patent for their innovation.