student -B.E mechanical , Sri ramakrishana institute of technology

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Why can't we make hybrid electric bikes(series hybrid with generator) and commercialize them?

It could reduce the dependence on fossil fuels and increase the mileage of the normal bikes ,it would be both fuel efficient and eco-friendly .

  • Dec 16 2012: i know there are many commercial source but countries like india , and many other underdeveloped countries still don see hybrid bikes as a solution to this fossil fuel depletion ....
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    Dec 16 2012: From an internet search I see many commercial sources of hybrid electric bikes.
    • Dec 16 2012: i know there are many commercial source but countries like india , and many other underdeveloped countries still don see hybrid bikes as a solution to this fossil fuel depletion .... commercial use of hybrid bikes are still in the lower stage..
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    Dec 16 2012: this is a good idea
    but how you can do that?
    you want use tow engines?
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    Dec 16 2012: they do?
    • Dec 16 2012: Can you please elaborate your comment
      ? i am doing a project on series hybrid electric bike as my B.E degree project ..please help me out if u can?
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        Dec 16 2012: If I do a Google search for electric bike I get 42 million web sites?
        • Dec 17 2012: i'm talkin about hybrid vehicles sir.. what is its future according to you?
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        Dec 17 2012: What is your understanding of 'hybrid' for a bike? I think most of us do not understand exactly what you mean by this term if 'electric bikes' is not what you are looking for.

        Are you planning to constantly recharge the electric accumulator with the generator you mentioned and not charging the bike via the electric grid?

        If this is your concept, why would I need an hybrid electric bike at all? The extra muscular power I need to recharge my electric bike would undermine its advantage to lessen my effort while driving it, not even counting the extra weight of the electric motor, gear and battery. So if there was no use of any external electrical power, this hybrid bike would be nothing but more expensive than just a regular bike. Well actually worse than that if we calculate the overall efficiency and power dissipation of the whole process of energy generation and the electrical drivetrain.
        • Dec 18 2012: If hybrid vehicles are less efficient than normal vehicles, then cars like "toyota prius hybrid" would have not been introduced in the market.i can give lot of examples for the success of hybrid technology.
          i see hybrid bikes as a solution for the battery swapping problem in electric bikes during a long journey.
          Electric bikes cannot be used for long distance traveling whereas a series hybrid electric bike that i'm suggesting which runs on both diesel engine and electric motor(BLDC) will be suitable .I will remove the extra components from a normal bike and reduce the size of a petrol tank ..i ll bring down the kerb weight to increase mileage. the work of the internal combustion engine here only is to charge the accumulator(battery with a supercapacitor) through generator,the drivetrain is connected to the motor.
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        Dec 18 2012: Thank you for your explanation, as it becomes clear to me know what your idea is about. My fist understanding of your 'bike' was 'bicycle', driven by muscular power and for which a hybrid concept does not make sense. Yet for a 'motorcycle', which you had in mind, a hybrid drive would make as much sense as it does for cars, I agree.

        I do not agree with your statement that your hybrid motorcycle is 'eco-friendly', as in fact, it isn't. It only uses less gasoline per milage, which makes it more fuel efficient, yet as it uses fossil fuel it does not become 'friendly' to the ecosphere, just less violent - which is different from 'friendly'. Those positive terms got coined by marketing departments of the car industry and its only purpose is to cover up the still negative aspects of heir hybrid technology.

        In your idea you also have to transfer the braking energy into electric energy, as otherwise the mileage per gallon of gasoline would not be extended. The extra weight of the electric generator and the battery, or the super-capacitor you are planning to use, has to be compensated as well as the conversion loss in energy within the electric generator itself. Light weight and compact design becomes a 'must' for the design concept of your motorcycle, in which could light weight materials can become a price issue. Yet without challenges, engineering would just be plain boring, right? :o)
        • Dec 18 2012: Yes i agree my bike would not be eco-friendly but it is less violent than a normal bike.. it reduces emissions when compared to a normal motorbike. My aim is to produce such bike for the commuter and also for the rural commuters,the disadvantage of my model would be cost but instead of spending more money on fossil fuel at regular intervals to fill the fuel tank why cant we spend some amount of money at a time and buy this hybrid bike long term my bike would not drink more will be saved whats your suggestion?
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        Dec 18 2012: For the current state of technology, I think your concept makes perfect sense if it can be realized. You may also consider some additional design concepts and materials to merge them with your project if you find them useful:

        A very light weight and low cost material has already proven its advantage for 'bicycles': Bamboo!

        As much as I know this material grows in your country and it comes with very 'high tech' material properties as well. Is also has a positive effect of an overall carbon footprint, compared to fiber reinforced plastics like laminated carbon or fiberglass composites. It is also biodegradable, which makes it a good building material for the 'cradle to cradle' design philosophy.

        Here are some random links to bamboo bikes if you are interested:

        The above mentioned 'cradle to cradle design' philosophy may also be a good guideline for the layout of your concept, as it looks at a 'bigger picture' of the whole product life-cycle:

        For the super-capacitor it seems, that some 'green' or 'greener' versions are on its way of development:

        The last ideas I have, was to use as much 'standardized' parts as possible, to reduce the cost of your motorcycle. Keep the platform 'upgradeable' as much as possible, so when new technology emerges, the motorbike can stay 'up to date' by changing only some components, e.g. the generator, super-capacitor, etc... If possible, I would suggest to integrate a 'plug-in' port to the super-capacitor, so that a user could charge the bike by solar or other green energy sources, to further reduce the need of fossil fuels. Yet as I am no electrical engineer, this may be more difficult than I imagine... :o)

        In any case I wish you good luck and success with your idea from concept to the final market!
        • Dec 18 2012: I initially thought about the" plugin hybid concept" also. "plugin hybrid" would enable more flexibility in charging . thanks for the links and your valuable suggestion waiting to hear more from you if you wish.. these comments would help me a lot in my works. as a mechanical engineer i would like to contribute something to this automobile society and rural public.

          Mounting all the components in a motorbike is more difficult which is a challenging task.. a little miscalculation would lead to failure. power rating of the motor,generator rating etc.. i have to reduce the size and make the chassis suitable for stability and it should be aerodynamically efficient.. i can make bamboo chassis and the basic layout.. lets see i don't know how far it will be efficient. i would need the help of an electrical engineer to complete the work.
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        Lejan .

        • +1
        Dec 18 2012: As I am a mechanical engineer as well, the marvels of electricity stays a mystery to me ever since ... :o) Of course I had to learn all this and did pass all the tests, yet passing a test got nothing to do with the true understanding of a subject ... so yes, you better get an 'electric' colleague to work with you on this matter... ;o)

        I just found this link on the Internet:

        An Indian company named 'EKO Vehicles' which is located in Bangalore and seems to produce the model Eko ET-120 as a hybrid motorcycle already. If your target market is India, you may have a look at their specifications, as this company is most likely to become your 'competitor'.

        I also found some other companies who produce or work on hybrid solutions for motorcycles, so you may check them out as well:

        It would be a good starting point for your design approach to find and list all competitive models you can find on the Internet to get to see what technology is available already, what does it offer in terms of performance and how much does it cost. It would also be helpful to you to identify your main 'target customer' to find out about the price range your product must hit to be affordable. This is a usual market study, which should be done first, intensive and broad, so that you get to know the market in which you are heading. Even though 'we' engineers have this natural tendency to solve those technical problems, we have to discipline ourself not to forget about the market... :o)

        So keep having great ideas and find friends and partners to work with you on its realization!
        • Dec 18 2012: Its more like brainstorming waiting to hear more from you sir.

          Thanks for those links it really helps me a lot in finding the right market .hybrids are still not so common like the normal bikes maybe because of lack of awareness.. its really getting more difficult for me to do this work.