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Transportation Earth Power

World's First Production Hybrid Motorcycle To Hit Market In India 128

Posted by timothy
from the so-finish-shopping-quickly dept.
bluemanlines writes "The Indian company Eko Vehicles has announced the development of the world's first production hybrid motorcycle, called the ET-120. In a short time this motorcycle will run on the Indian streets, offering about 280 miles per gallon with a top speed of 40 miles per hour."
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World's First Production Hybrid Motorcycle To Hit Market In India

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  • The thing is so ugly you won't want to do vanity runs around the neighborhood... yet more savings !

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Keruo (771880)
      looks like they copied their design from old tunturi [mespakka.net] mopeds
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by sznupi (719324)

        Way too far.

        More like stylistic cues from, say, older MZ motorcycles ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MZ_ETZ250.JPG [wikipedia.org] - which are quite universal of course, being mostly about practical factors) and following overall design of very popular there underbone motorcycles.

        • Re:Side benefit (Score:5, Informative)

          by quarterbuck (1268694) on Sunday December 27, 2009 @01:27PM (#30564388)
          India had mopeds for a long time and the inspiration for this one seems to be the TVS 50 [cartradeindia.com]
          It has been in production for over 30 years and used to be most popular [wikipedia.org] moped in India. This is actually smaller than the Honda cub (which was sold as Bajaj M80 in India) and is supposedly based on an indigenous design - though TVS would later collaborate with Suzuki to introduce their motorcycles in India.
          . The MZ through its many evolutions actually became Rajdoot in India, which was a full motorcycle, not a moped. The tunturi and its variants became Suvega mopeds in India.
    • Whoa! (Score:5, Funny)

      by hackshack (218460) on Sunday December 27, 2009 @07:13AM (#30562492)
      Holy hell, that is ugly. Designers musta said, "we need to take a Honda Ruckus [kitsunenoir.com], slap a dirt-bike front end on it, and put an ammo box filled with batteries in the middle." Only thing missing is the duct tape!
      • But for the price... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hackshack (218460) on Sunday December 27, 2009 @07:38AM (#30562564)
        OK, I actually R'd the FA - you know, the text part of it - and feel like I should amend my comment. Basically they made a hybrid Honda Cub-ish-looking bike for $900. Though hideous, that's pretty sweet!
        To non-moto people: in a nutshell, the Cub is sort of the VW Bug of Asia, except it's unnaturally reliable [youtube.com]. (Skip to 5:00 for the dropping-it-off-a-building part.)
      • It's actually a copy of another popular light-weight bike in India. The Kinetic Luna [iloveindia.com]. The Luna also has pedals, so that you can ride it like a bicycle when you're out of fuel.
      • Better yet, if those batteries eplode, say good-bye to any future family members!

      • Well, what do you expect for $850!?! ^^
        I mean, think about it. It’s very likely cheaper than your computer. And if you buy it used in one year, it’s so cheap, you could wreck it, and not even care much. (Of course in India, that’s a bit different, as they are not so rich. But still. That’s no price.)

      • Ugly...?.
        .

        Giidness me! You're an American, aren't you?.

        Tell me, young man- are there still lots of designers in Detroit "designing" beautiful cars and motorcycles?.

        It certainly must be nice to live in in a land that does not need engineers anymore.

        • by operagost (62405)
          Honestly, it is ugly. Aesthetics-- ever heard of it? We're not talking about Montgomery Scott beauty here. It is ugly-- or at least utilitarian-- to many people. Is it now unacceptable to have an opinion?
    • by Suki I (1546431)
      Ugly isn't the right word. We need a new word, a new chapter of the dictionary, for that level of ugly. It will make a great illustration.
    • Seems to be the problem with the environment - VANITY.... People must drive their Hummers and Mercedes and Ducatis.... Keep driving them, and your precious roads will be half under water in no time as the polar icecaps melt (ok, maybe not much to worry about with the diesel Hummers, but still). Drive an Eko - and you'll still have roads to ride it on... I'll take two....
      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Uhhhh...dude? You DO know that it takes fossil fuels to actually create those batteries that this and other hybrids run on, right? I would love to see someone figure out the amount of energy wasted on mining and manufacture of these batteries to see whether you come out on top or not with Hybrids, because while this little tiny thing might come out ahead I have a feeling that the cars? Not so much.

        It would probably be better for the environment in the long run to ditch the V8 and go to something with a s

        • Hybrids don't run on batteries, they run on gas/electricity. The battery only stores the electricity.

          You could also complain about the fuel tank of a regular car needing raw materials and energy to manufacture.

        • Howdy, Dude!
          Or should I address you as Dudie?

          You DO know that it takes lots of fossil fuels to manufacture those big V8s and slightly smaller V6s and 4s, right?
          OK, probably not as much fossil fuel as it does to make a couple of small lead-acid batteries...
          But then I am just an old lady tending my faithful water-buffalo "Steve".
          What would I know, next to the immense knowledge of a great American "dude" slashdotter?
          I must bow to your superior wisdom, young lad!

  • Other venues... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by srothroc (733160) on Sunday December 27, 2009 @05:30AM (#30562170) Homepage
    I think it would sell well here in Japan, where it's not uncommon to see people on scooters and small motorcycles in smaller cities and rural areas. I've seen uglier ones around here too, though fashion-conscious people might balk at buying it. It could also be a popular bike if it had a spring-loaded rack on the back for deliveries...

    Japan Post uses tons of motorcycles for its mailmen -- perhaps they would be a good market as well.
    • Re:Other venues... (Score:4, Informative)

      by sznupi (719324) on Sunday December 27, 2009 @06:15AM (#30562306) Homepage

      I don't really see how it's ugly, it's simply function over form; very similar to underbone motorcycles which are widely popular in Asia, just with battery pack in place of cargo rack (btw, that's where it is in such motorcycles more often, not at the back; and it surely will be like that in this hybrid one, even if there's somewhat less space there)

      • Re:Other venues... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ThePhilips (752041) on Sunday December 27, 2009 @07:39AM (#30562572) Homepage Journal

        I don't really see how it's ugly, it's simply function over form; ...

        I presume because most commenters here are from U.S. where cars long time ago stopped being a transportation media and have become a way to boost your ego. But I guess that is the case all over the G7 countries.

        • by jhoegl (638955)
          Yeah, we are a bunch of morons here in the USA. Akin to spoiled rich brats we want style over function, and damn the expense. F'in stupid asses.
        • by KingJoshi (615691)

          What the fuck is with this need to bash countries? Especially when it's so far off the mark.

          People are MUCH more superficial and image conscious in southeast Asia than the US. I live in Nepal and you would be hard pressed to find one person to buy that based upon its looks. In Nepal, cars are damn expensive since they're taxed 250% as luxury items as imports. A "cheap" Hyundai would cost $18K-$20K. But the roads in Nepal are filled with middle class families buying cars for status.

          If someone wants fuel

          • What the fuck is with this need to bash countries? Especially when it's so far off the mark.

            What the fuck is with this habit to slap "ugly" on everything what is purely functional?

            I live in Nepal and you would be hard pressed to find one person to buy that based upon its looks.

            That was precisely my point.

            • by KingJoshi (615691)

              What the fuck is with this need to bash countries? Especially when it's so far off the mark.

              What the fuck is with this habit to slap "ugly" on everything what is purely functional?

              I live in Nepal and you would be hard pressed to find one person to buy that based upon its looks.

              That was precisely my point.

              Maybe you misunderstood. It is ugly. And that is why people in Nepal would not buy it. Looks matter A LOT. However, even if something is ugly, if it can raise your status and image because it is expensive or rare, then people might buy it.

              • Why would people in Nepal think it is "ugly"?

                Do they think only that beauty nust come from Detrioit and Madison Avenue?

                Ah... Perhaps you are right- inside every dirty ugly little Nepalese or Indian,there is a beautiful sleek American trying to get out!
                Perhaps one day, I too shall want to trade in my faithful water-buffalo "Steve" for a beautiful American Holstein... or a very stylish Pontiac "Parisienne" I hear they are very popular!

                Wasn't it the historic Pontiac Lemans that won all those 24 hour races i

          • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

            by GooberToo (74388)

            What the fuck is with this need to bash countries? Especially when it's so far off the mark.

            Why is stating fact considered, "bashing"? The FACT is, the stated fact is exactly how car companies advertise to consumers because of exactly that fact. Hell, in the US, car purchases are actually considered an impulse purchase (80%+ of all vehicle sales). Its an impulse purchase because its about both the car and the salesmen stroking the consumer's ego rather than the merits of the vehicle. The really sad thing is, few consumers actually realize they purchased a vehicle because they are a complete idiot

            • by KingJoshi (615691)

              What the fuck is with this need to bash countries? Especially when it's so far off the mark.

              Why is stating fact considered, "bashing"? The FACT is, the stated fact is exactly how car companies advertise to consumers because of exactly that fact. Hell, in the US, car purchases are actually considered an impulse purchase (80%+ of all vehicle sales). Its an impulse purchase because its about both the car and the salesmen stroking the consumer's ego rather than the merits of the vehicle. The really sad thing is, few consumers actually realize they purchased a vehicle because they are a complete idiot rather than the merits of the vehicle. Because you consider the stated fact to be bashing, it strongly suggests you easily fall into the ignorant 80% category.

              Perhaps the realization you purchase vehicles out of looks and ignorance rather than merit, function, and suitability, is a crushing blow to your ego and that's why you believe he's bashing? Its a rhetorical question - frankly I don't care one way or the other about why you purchase vehicles. I just wanted to make it clear, the GP's factual statement is not bashing and that's the facts. Regardless, you're never going to get away from small penis envy where people over compensate, whereas that's true around the world, but singling out G7 countries is hardly bashing.

              Did you even read what I wrote? Do you lack reading comprehension skills and just love to rant?

              I stated that Asian countries consider image more than the US. So for the commenter to pick out the US and its people is a form of bashing when most humans behave that way and Asian cultures more so than their American counterparts.

              Second, form and style is one of the criteria of "merit". For you, it may be lower on your value and priority scale than it is for someone else. But to automatically label something

              • by GooberToo (74388)

                Actually I did read your comment. Thus my reply. Its your reply which is down right puzzling - which suggests you didn't read. Talk about irony.

        • by drsquare (530038)

          But Americans all drive butt-ugly SUVs, how can they criticise this motorbike?

    • Most of your deliveries are fairly close. As such, a pure electric, perhaps, lower costs, with say 50 km range would probably serve better.
  • by darthflo (1095225) * on Sunday December 27, 2009 @05:37AM (#30562188)

    Wired has slightly better coverage [wired.com].

    This is at best a moped, a far cry even from 2-stroke 125cc motorcycles. The ET-120 has some 70 ccs of displacement, producing (that's according to TFA) enough power to reach a top speed of 40 mph, no actual numbers on power or torque given. A modern 125cc 2-stroke motorcycle will produce some 33 bhp of power, 20 Nm of torque and reach top speeds in excess of 100 mph. At 280 mpg, its fuel consumption is quite nice, though, especially when compared to some 45 mpg one would get out of a standard 125cc motorcycle.

    • by sznupi (719324) on Sunday December 27, 2009 @05:49AM (#30562222) Homepage

      This thing is closest in form to underbone motorcycles (contrary to what you might think, engine power doesn't define "motorcycle")

      • by lokedhs (672255)
        Well, at least in my country of origin, most mopeds don't have pedals, and that doesn't just apply to the legal definition, but also what people use in common day-to-day speech.

        I think this is a case where the definition of the word has been extended over time, and there's nothing wrong with that. Wikipedia seems to agree with me too:

        Traditionally, mopeds are equipped with bicycle-like pedals (the source of the term, motor-pedal), but moped is sometimes applied by governments to vehicles without pedals, b

        • by sznupi (719324)

          From your quote - "sometimes". Besides, Wikipedia agrees more with me, because this hybrid machine certainly surpasses the speed/power limits present in legal definitions of "moped", in most places. "Legal definitions" being the key phrase here - scooters are not mopeds. Underbones (which this thing is) are not mopeds. They are just often thrown into that category for legal convenience.

      • by darthflo (1095225) *

        To me, it [blogcdn.com] looks closer to a moped [wikimedia.org] than a motorcycle [wikimedia.org], performs (70cc displacement, 40 mph top speed) closer to a moped (50cc displacement, 35 or so mph top speed) than a motorcycle (125+cc, 100+mph) and seems more similar in cost ($855) to a moped ($$2000).
        Duck typing [wikipedia.org] tells me it's a moped.

        I don't mean to disdain it; used within it's scope (commuting a couple of kilometres through a busy congested metropolitan area) it's probably superior to a fully-grown motorcycle, but I don't see where, how or why it shou

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by sznupi (719324)

          It looks closest to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underbone [wikipedia.org] - "An underbone, or underbone motorcycle, is a small motorcycle"

          Speed and displacement don't play much of a role in those definitions. Besides you wrote yourself that it surpasses what is sometimes the legal definition of a "moped"

          • by chdig (1050302)
            While it may officially be an "underbone", I've never until now heard of this word (and I've been riding for 8 years). 40mph top speed, 70cc utilitarian-looking motorized bikes are called scooters over here (North America).

            There may be other words that match what law and wiki writers would like you to use, but this thing is definitely a scooter, slightly reminiscent of the Honda ruckus, which is sold here.
          • by darthflo (1095225) *

            Damn, I totally skipped over that underbone in front of your motorcycle there. Hadn't even heard of that class, so thanks for the info :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lokedhs (672255)
      Having spent much time in urban India, I don't see the need for a motorcycle to be able to reach speeds in excess of 64 km/h. Most of your time is spent weaving through gridlocked cars.

      Even going on the freeway in a car is not a high-speed endeavour. There are just too many vehicles and people.

      I can see this vehicle to be a perfect option for a lot of people.

    • Around here (Alabama) this would be classified as a motor driven cycle. A motorcycle has greater than 150cc displacement. A motor driven cycle has 150cc or less engine size. Weight is a factor as well. A motor driven cycle must weigh less than 200 lbs. They are prohibited from interstate travel. I believe this classification is in other states as well.

      In the USA, a moped has pedals and can be propelled like a bicycle. However, a moped also meets the criteria for a motor driven cycle.
      • In the Uk a moped originally had pedals and a capacity of 50cc or less and was a rite of passage as you could ride one at the age of 16 (a motorcycle or car required a minimum age of 17).

        This led to sports mopeds like the fs1e , and AP50 2 strokes and the SS50 4 stroke which had pedals which could be moved into a position like foot pegs.

        Fantastic speeds were claimed for these bikes but realistically 45 mph flat out was good.

        in 1976 the law changed power output was restricted (designed for 30mph top speed an

    • by ph0rk (118461)
      You can get over 50 mpg out of a 500cc 430lb road bike, even an old-tech carburated one. Some small 250cc road bikes are in the 70-85mpg range, but they also tend to top out at about 75 mph.
    • by blue_teeth (83171)

      A modern 125cc 2-stroke motorcycle will produce some 33 bhp of power, 20 Nm of torque and reach top speeds in excess of 100 mph. At 280 mpg, its fuel consumption is quite nice, though, especially when compared to some 45 mpg one would get out of a standard 125cc motorcycle.

      I don't know from where you got these figures. I spent my life owning two-stroke motorcycles. Yamaha RX100 (100cc two stroke, single cylinder) - not more than 16 bhp with ~40 kilometers per liter of petrol. Yamaha RD350 (350cc two stroke, twin cylinder) - 30 bhp with ~18 kilometers per liter of petrol. Jawa (250cc two stroke, single cylinder) - 18 bhp with ~35 kilometers per litre of petrol (agreed, Jawa is old technology - 1965 from Czechoslovakia) Two stroke engine may give instant power compared to fo

    • by tverbeek (457094)

      I'd call it a moped-class motorcycle. It's comparable to a derestricted 50cc moped or scooter in terms of power. It's a little too powerful to qualify as a "moped" for licensing purposes in most of the United States. which means you'd have to register it as a motorcycle and get a motorcycle endorsement on your driver license to ride it. My 50cc scooter does 40mph like this does and meets my needs very nicely, but gets "only" 90mpg.

      To sell it in the US, it'd need a styling make-over to give it more of a

    • by Inda (580031)
      In the UK, 50cc mopeds are the norm as you can ride them at 16 years old and with only a little basic training. They are also limited to 30mph (although the kids tend to remove the restrictor in the exhaust pipe and carb (I also had mine bored out to 65cc because I was extra naughty))

      125cc motorbikes are restricted to 70mph but few people bother to mod them.

      Mopeds are cool for bombing about town where the speed limit is often 30mph. These hybrids sound just the job.
  • Leave it to the USA not to be first in streeting high mileage motorcycles. Yes, it angers me to see other nations developing products that the US will not or can not. Supposedly we are the big assed , number one, creators of all times. Yet we constantly see product development in nations that are so poor that they are lucky not to be in starvation. What will we see next? Maybe superior electronics from Uganda or polar bears building better cars than we can.

    • by RotateLeftByte (797477) on Sunday December 27, 2009 @06:39AM (#30562388)
      As a Bike rider since 1969 I can attest to the worsening fuel consumption figures in modern bikes. My 1969 650cc Triumph TR6 in touring trim gets over 80mpg. My 2004 780cc Triumph Bonnieville gets 50mpg My 1963 650cc Bonnievile gets 60mpg with 10.5:1 Compression pistons and race tuning. Many high performance bike these days have worse consumption than many cars. This is a crazy situation. I'd probably plump for a leccy bike rather than a hybrid for my commute to work (Some 30miles each way) Seeing them racing round the "Island" in june was really great.
      • However, you are missing the fact that the new bikes are much cleaner than the old ones. The old ones put a LOT of pollution into the air, where as the newer ones put up less pollution (cleaner burn), but with more CO2 due to the higher power.

        What really needs to happen is more on the electric motorcycles. They are coming, but still pretty pricey. The funny thing is, that motorcycles would be a GREAT place to do battery swaps at stations. The reason is that designs COULD be standardized and then used. I
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by drinkypoo (153816)

          However, you are missing the fact that the new bikes are much cleaner than the old ones. The old ones put a LOT of pollution into the air, where as the newer ones put up less pollution (cleaner burn), but with more CO2 due to the higher power.

          And yet, the average motorbike is about 10 times more polluting per mile than a passenger car, light truck or SUV [latimes.com]. That's right, I'm polluting less in my 3/4 ton diesel pickup than one of these new Triumphs, or even a CBR or what have you.

          Emissions controls for motorcycles now. Especially since the way they're actually driven, the average sportbike is not hitting even 40 mpg, especially not 2-up. I can haul four people and thousands of pounds of cargo (in addition to the thousands of pounds of truck) for ar

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Shatrat (855151)

            I can haul four people and thousands of pounds of cargo (in addition to the thousands of pounds of truck) for around 15-18 mpg.

            Except most of the time it's just you hauling nothing but your own ass around at 15mpg.
            I drive my car any time I need to get something that won't fit in my side cases or backpack and last year I put 10,000 miles on the motorcycle and about 1,000 on the car.
            As for pollution, anything a bike puts out is insignificant [guardian.co.uk].

          • by tverbeek (457094)

            The amount - and type - of pollution varies a lot among motorbikes. A 2-stroke 50cc engine may put out more smog-producing particulate matter than your truck, but far less CO2 (aka "greenhouse gas") per passenger per mile. California already has pretty stringent emissions standards in place (it's why 2-strokes are hard to find there), and they're getting tougher in the rest of the US too, so I don't know why you're calling for them as if they didn't exist.

          • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            That's because there is no emission controls on motorcycles. You have those "choppers" with no controls at all. Most modern road motorcycles (ie. not customs) will have catalytic converters and control to prevent hydrocarbon emissions. I know my motorcycle has it (75mpg).

            http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2009/05/motorcycle-smog-check-proposed-for-california.html

            Now, if you really want to tackle emissions, go after small engines. Gas lawnmowers are much more ubiquitous than motorcycles. Requiring ca

          • by afroborg (677708)

            Depends how you cut the stats. When you say "more polluting" and link to that article, you are talking about one single type of polluting - NOx emissions. Yes, it's true that motorcycle engines - in general - emit greater levels of NOx than automotive engines, basically because the space available for packaging a catalytic converter is smaller. But the CO2 emissions are much lower. CO2 emission is pretty much proportional to fuel consumption.

            So while you can feel smug that your NOx emissions are low, do

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              So while you can feel smug that your NOx emissions are low, don't kid yourself that your SUV is saving the planet...

              It's not like that, obviously your vehicle needs to have negative lifetime emissions of any sort to be helping the planet one iota. But it's equally true that motorcycles are not the benevolent chariots that motorcyclists tend to make them out to be (including siblings to your comment.)

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by couchslug (175151)

            When we count environmental impact we shouldn't externalize the other costs involved.

            Producing a truck takes far more resources than does a motorcycle, and the truck will generate more waste oil/waste fluids/waste lubricant over its life cycle. It will require more effort to scrap and generate many pounds of plastic waste (seats, interior,some body parts, bedliner). Unlike a motorbike, trucks have air conditioning which usually means at least one full load of refrigerant either leaked or dumped into the atm

      • by couchslug (175151)

        "Many high performance bike these days have worse consumption than many cars."

        They are also amazingly quick and powerful.

        Old Triumphs are beautiful, easy to work on (necessary since they are quite delicate), and fun to ride. They are also slow, require frequent maintenance, and not comparable to modern bikes which often have better specs than road racers of ancient times. The most successful motorcycle based on such an old form-factor is the 883 Harley Sportster, which only exists as "bait" for people who w

      • by CAIMLAS (41445)

        Two years ago in Sturgis, I saw a number of bike builder projects. There were quite a few bikes with powerplants that got as little as 6 miles to the gallon. There's no point in that.

        Also saw a guy (Allan Lee) who claimed his bike was running on gas and water (using the same engine) and getting about 12mpg. It was a damn sexy bike, but I'm unsure of whether it was doing what he claimed.

    • by Ragzouken (943900)

      Who but the US supposes that the US are number one creator of all times? By the way, there are a hundred or more other countries that didn't develop it.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Who but the US supposes that the US are number one creator of all times? By the way, there are a hundred or more other countries that didn't develop it.

        Are there any other countries that didn't develop it after prototyping it four or more years ago [hyperlogos.org]?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)

        For most of the twentieth century, the USA invested a lot in R&D and, although they weren't always the first in the world to do things (e.g. first stored-program computer or supersonic passenger aircraft), they generally lead the way. The USA has a very large population compared to other first-world countries. The USSR and China were larger, but both had a massive underclass to support and couldn't devote, proportionally, as much to technological development. Countries like Brasil and India were suff

        • by tverbeek (457094)

          US leadership in engineering and design is a well-documented historical fact.

          Note the word "historical".

    • Leave it to the USA not to be first in streeting high mileage motorcycles.

      Mopeds (things that look like this bike) have been for sale in the US for decades. They have traditionally not sold well. Why build for a market that doesn't want them?

      Oh, and for the US not being able to invent cool stuf like this? Go here [zeromotorcycles.com]. Made in Santa Cruz.
      • Mopeds sold fairly well back in the 70s - 80s when we had the oil/fuel price hikes. After the prices dropped way down, they stopped selling as well. Today those cheap 50cc scooters with no pretense of pedaling are fairly common. Technically not a moped, but I see a lot of them, and I live in pickup/suv country so I know they must be way more common in the cities now.

        I've had both kinds of "moped", the motor assist real bicycle (Aquabug/Tanaka/Sears) and the "you can sort of pedal it, too, but it is stupid"

    • by couchslug (175151)

      Most people in the US don't need them, and if _you_ want a slow motorcycle then go ahead and buy or build one.

      There are plenty of small four-strokes you could fit with smaller carbs (or homebrew EFI ), a taller set of sprockets for lower RPM at cruise, narrow ribbed tires, and a fairing to reduce drag.

      There are people doing diesel conversions if you want higher mileage, but those who prefer performance will buy accordingly.

    • by couchslug (175151) on Sunday December 27, 2009 @10:11AM (#30563210)

      Want a high-MPG bike in the US that has been available longer than most Slashdotters have been alive?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Super_Cub [wikipedia.org]

      They are simple. tough, easy to work on, and the most successful powered vehicle in history to the tune of SIXTY MILLION so far.

      The US didn't build them because it didn't and doesn't need to. This guy did it so well that there was no point in trying to compete given US labor costs:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soichiro_Honda [wikipedia.org]

    • by Dare nMc (468959)

      US has many high mileage cycles, just the savings over 50 MPG is diminishing. IE if you drive 1000 miles a month, 25 MPG to 50 MPG saves 20 gallons of fuel a month. going from 50 to 125 mpg saves 12 gallons of fuel a month. So a ugly slow battery power scooter would never sell, when (for example) my 600cc enduro is lighter, faster (100 mph), goes anywhere and gets 65 mpg. I would never hall around 100 pounds of batteries to save $20 worth of fuel a month, it already costs me ~$20 a month for tires. Not

    • by codepunk (167897)

      Leave it to the US to build something I want to ride. There is no way
      on earth I would buy that ugly looking bike. My harley easily gets
      60 MPG and looks darn fine while doing it.

      • In my land we admire you for getting 60MPG (whatever that is), however WE think your Harley is butt-ugly ( to use one of your countrymans expressions.
        Of course, since the Motorcycle was invented in America, then I guess it is up to you Americans to decide what is beautiful and what is not.
        We humble foreigners bow to your superior aesthetic Detroit perceptions.

        -

        -

              - Yes, slashdot was invented and styled in America!

    • We are rich in the USA so we do not 'need' motorcycles that get crazy mileage. Developing nations have to develop 'cheap' products in order to survive and advance in the modern era. If the difference between living and dying (implying that you have a job) is being able to afford gas for a commute or whatever your job requires, a vehicle that gets good mileage is the only thing you can afford (assuming you can afford the upfront cost).

      Poverty leads to different innovation than riches do. While this little
  • by sam0737 (648914) <`moc.ihcwohc' `ta' `mas'> on Sunday December 27, 2009 @06:10AM (#30562294)

    In China where electrical scooter is so common that could be bought in USD $100 to USD $300 depends on the performance.
    Supermarket carries a large selections that looks like anything look like a bike, to something in between, to something that looks exactly like a gas scooter. 30mph is norm but I think they have model going up to 40.

    Most model has detachable battery, so you could take it out and just bring the battery box indoor for plugin charging. A single charge should give you 20+ miles range (Sorry I don't own one so it's a bit guessing for this number). Some models include traditional bike padels for backup.

    I don't exactly see the point of hybrid if full electrical scooter is just so mature. Do you really want to maintain two set of systems? Or unless you really need 200 miles driving range, I guess.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Numerous human hybrid bicycle systems exist. A ton of chinese firms will sell you brushless motors and controllers with regenerative braking, I'd very much like to build a 2WD mountain bike and have actually secured a frame for this purpose already... but nothing else :) GIANT built some very nice bikes, but they were too good and were discontinued in favor of a model that breaks down more often and sells more parts, I shit you not. A company called BionX sells a very nice system for a huge pile of money. H

    • I don't exactly see the point of hybrid if full electrical scooter is just so mature.

      Even more so, as you have to basically cram 2 engines :
      one gas-based *and* one full electrical motor and assorted batteries instead of the small starter that usually goes into motorcycles (if they even have one and don't rely on a kickstart and a diminutive battery charger).

      For vehicles as light as motorcycles, scooters or mopeds, this is a significant proportion of the total weight, and you won't expect as much MPG gain as on a car (where the additional engine weight is a smaller percentage of the whole).

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by hitmark (640295)

        well you can scale back the gasoline engine, as it will just be there to keep the batteries topped of and/or drive the electric motor thats really the one powering the whole thing.

        this removes a fair bit of gearing and similar. Hell, one may even hook the electric motor straight on the back wheel if one wants to, and just run wires, rather then some chain or similar.

    • by toppavak (943659)
      Full electric scooters [evfuture.com] have been available in India for a couple years, actually. They've not become widespread for the same reason that electric vehicles haven't in the US. Too expensive, not enough range.
    • by mpe (36238)
      In China where electrical scooter is so common that could be bought in USD $100 to USD $300 depends on the performance.
      Most model has detachable battery, so you could take it out and just bring the battery box indoor for plugin charging. A single charge should give you 20+ miles range (Sorry I don't own one so it's a bit guessing for this number).


      If you are running a delivery service then you could presumably have more batteries than vehicles and make sure the driver puts in a fully charged battery when t
      • by FooAtWFU (699187)
        It might be nice if they could supplement the "noise and fume-producing ICE" with something that's quieter and more efficient, even if not quite as powerful as a motorcycle is used to, and then you could keep it running quietly the whole ride to stretch out a battery charge. Then everyday people going down the street wouldn't loathe your presence because of the obnoxious noise.
        • by FooAtWFU (699187)
          sorry, it's too early in the morning. It would be nice if they could replace the "noise and fume-producing ICE" with something that's quieter and more efficient, even if not quite as powerful as a motorcycle is used to, and then you could keep it running quietly the whole ride to stretch out a battery charge. Then everyday people going down the street wouldn't loathe your presence because of the obnoxious noise.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tuxicle (996538)
      There's also the issue of frequent power cuts, particularly in Bangalore where it's become almost a way of life. In many rural parts of India, power is only available for a few hours a day, just enough to run agricultural water pumps. With a hybrid, you just find the nearest petrol pump and you're good.
  • Great (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JohnnyBGod (1088549) on Sunday December 27, 2009 @06:53AM (#30562420)

    For less than $1000, it's a steal! I'd buy it even for $2000, if it had a better looking frame.

    • by KingJoshi (615691)
      There are lots of motorbikes in India that are under $1000 USD. And they use regular petrol/gas so you can use them like any other vehicle. Pay a few hundred more and the bikes can go fast enough for highways. Bajaj Pulsar [wikipedia.org] is one of the most popular models. This site [maxabout.com] has prices as well. But it's in Indian currency. You can use Google to convert INR to USD [google.com.np].
  • They would have been far better off with building a better pure electric motorcycle.
    • by tverbeek (457094)

      The company does make pure-electrics. They're broadening their line to include a hybrid, presumably for performance/range reasons.

      • And the cycle is one of the last places that I would want to buy a hybrid at. To be honest, I think that cars are marginal at best. Instead, the place for hybrids would be RVs, trucks, carriers, tanks, firetrucks, ambulances, etc. Basically, the need to haul items long distance, or the need to generate lots of electricity for various systems. The tanks, firetrucks, ambulances could easily use much lighter weight electric motors to drive the vehicles. But, this idea of putting multiple complex systems into a
    • Hard to charge that electric when the power cuts out twice a day.

      • That is when you need a standby generator/PV/Wind Generator off the bike. That way, those can be used for general purposes and still limits the complexities.
    • by gordguide (307383)

      " ... They would have been far better off with building a better pure electric motorcycle. ..."

      Then it wouldn't have made Slashdot with the "world's first" headline. Electric bikes are made worldwide by a number of manufacturers already.

  • ET-120 (Score:2, Funny)

    by Dr. Cody (554864)

    The Indian company Eko Vehicles has announced the development of the world's first production hybrid motorcycle, called the ET-120. In a short time this motorcycle will run on the Indian streets, offering about 280 miles per gallon with a top speed of 40 miles per hour...

    ...and will seat eight.

  • Will go about 60mph on the flat and gets about 70-80mpg depending on conditions and riding style. Cost about USD$1500 but I can get it serviced. Technically it should be registered but since it's an over bored 50cc it doesn't have to be insured, plated, licensed or inspected.

    An unrestricted 50cc 2 stroke 'should' be able to get 90-105mpg while topping out @ 40mph on the flat. Of course 2 stroke pollute a lot more than hybrids.....

    • by ncc74656 (45571) *

      An unrestricted 50cc 2 stroke 'should' be able to get 90-105mpg while topping out @ 40mph on the flat.

      I was getting ~100 mpg and 30 mph from a 49cc 4-stroke installed on a bicycle, until the clutch came apart on me. (The spot welds holding the output gear to the hub broke...need to have it welded back together, this time with welds around the full circumference of the gear.) I didn't do anything special to the engine (it's a Chinese knockoff of a Honda design), and I weighed somewhere around 250-260 lbs.

      • by gelfling (6534)

        Yeah sadly those cheap Chinese scoots have some awful metallurgy going on. I've broken CVT cases, main bearings, bearing seats. Even tore out muffler mounting at the exhaust manifold. Live and learn, NEVER EVER mod a 4-stroke Mainland Chinese scoot. I know that Honda gets their engines from a Chinese company but clearly they're built to Honda standards.

  • and the torque possible with even a small lithium pack as a L2 power source, how much you want to bet this ends up being modded into an asphalt burner.

    You can easily crank that sucker up to 200KPH, if you're willing to pay the traffic tickets. :-)

  • Maybe they should put pedals on it so you can cycle with it. Also, it can be used at home as fitness equipment charging the battery at the same time!
    • by tuxicle (996538)
      More important than that, you may want the pedals to get over hills. This is not an exaggeration, previous mopeds sold in India with displacements less than 50 cc needed the rider to do just this to get across steep inclines.
  • What about this: Piaggio MP3 Hybrid [autoblog.com]?

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