TVS Motor Co has launched a unique bike that could play a part in reducing India’s dependence on oil imports — a two-wheeler that runs on ethanol produced from plants instead of petrol.
The TVS Apache RTR 200 Fi E100 has been priced at Rs 1.2 lakhs ex-showroom, and will be available in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Karnataka — three sugarcane-growing states where ethanol production is also common.
Unlike petrol, which costs about Rs 80 per liter, ethanol can be produced at Rs 40-60 per liter.
Oil marketing companies currently buy ethanol from ethanol producers at Rs 59.13 per liter for that produced from sugarcane and at Rs 52.43/litre for that produced from molasses.
What is not clear is how much mileage the bike can give on one liter of ethanol and whether it can run on petrol or a blend of petrol and ethanol, as seems likely.
However, as far as the other big concern — power — is concerned, TVS has set such fears at rest.
The Apache RTR 200 Fi E100 delivers a peak power of 21 PS @ 8500 rpm, compared to 20.5 PS for the petrol version at the same RPM.
Torque is similar at 18.1 Nm @ 7000 rpm — the same as the petrol version.
Top speed too is identical at 129 kmph.
It is likely that TVS is injecting more fuel at a time into the engine to make sure that the power output doesn’t fall below that of the petrol version. If that is so, the mileage per liter should be less than that of the petrol version.
However, given the fuel price difference, the running costs should still be lower.
Moreover, the price of petrol continues to rise every year due to various factors, while the price of ethanol can be expected to be more stable as it is produced from sugarcane, molasses and other plants.
“TVS Apache RTR 200 Fi E100 is a winner for both the rider and the environment,” the company claimed.
TVS Motor Company first showcased the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Ethanol concept in Auto Expo 2018 held in Delhi.
Venu Srinivasan, Chairman, TVS Motor Company, said the two-wheeler industry in India is looking at green and sustainable future mobility solutions spanning across electric, hybrid and alternate fuels.
“TVS Motor Company believes that Ethanol-based products are an important option for our customers. This is due to the easy compatibility in transition to Ethanol and its sustained positive impact on the environment without compromising on performance and total cost of ownership,” he said.
“TVS Apache RTR 200 Fi E100 is a breakthrough in the two-wheeler space that will set the trend for a green future in India.”
Ethanol is not only more easily producible, but is also more easy to transport as it is safe to handle and less prone to spontaneous combustion.
It also contains 35% oxygen, which reduces the emission of pollutants like nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter and sulphur-di-oxide.
TVS Apache RTR 200 Fi E100 comes with what its maker calls Twin-Spray-Twin-Port EFI technology.
“This ensures better drivability, faster throttle response and reduction in emission levels. It delivers better usable power under varied ambient conditions.”