TVS to kick off scooters, bikes with common engine

Two-wheeler maker TVS Motor Company will kick off new gearless scooters, motorcycles and other variants with new and common fuel-efficient engines in 2013 and gain from economies of scale, a senior company official said Wednesday. Vinay Harne, president, new product development informed that they have developed a new engine incorporating patent pending technologies that would give a scooter owner 20 percent fuel economy and a motorcycle owner an easy riding experience like a scooter.

According to him, a motorcycle fitted with this engine will not have clutch and the gear could be changed with the touch of a button, or can be put on automatic transmission mode. Harne added that they have developed the technology and tested the product. However, the engine has to be tested in various climatic conditions and it should undergo 100,000 km of road endurance. Hence, a new model fitted with the new engine could be launched only in 2013.

The engines that have been designed are 110cc four-stroke and the technology can be applied to make engines with higher cubic capacity, say up to 250cc, Harne added. According to Harne, the engine can be used for other models like skubeks, step-thru apart from scooters and motorcycles.

Asked about the engine’s compatibility with three-wheelers that TVS Motor rolls out, Harne told IANS: “An engine with this technology can be applicable for three-wheelers as well as they also use a similar capacity engines. But our initial focus is on scooters followed by motorcycles.” He said the new engine had been tested on road for several months and its performance was satisfactory. Harne said the focus of the developing the new engine and the technology was four-fold – improving the engine and transmission efficiency, energy saving and reducing the engine weight.

On energy efficiency, he told the new engine will not have cooling fan that consumes fuel. The cooling would be done but by taking in the air. The new engine is lighter by five kg compared to the existing one. About the changes in the engine production line, he said it would be minimal but declined put a number to the cost benefit the company would derive because of the common engine while agreeing that it would be significant.

According to Harne, the main objective is to deliver a compact engine layout, that will deliver enhanced fuel efficiency and which is usable across product forms like scooter, motorcycles and step-thru’s. He said the technology also delivers the lowest carbon di-oxide emissions in scooters while providing for low floor board and space for luggage. The company has filed patent for the technology in India and abroad and does not foresee any of its competitors complaining of infringement. TVS is looking at launching a scooter with the new engine first and other models later.

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