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We are in a time where the automotive world is testing electric alternatives. Fossil fuels are reducing significantly and pollution is reaching extreme levels. Which is why the most popular alternative is going electric and many new companies have got into this growing segment in India. But, not many have been able to make an impact. The lack of infrastructure along with restricted range and long charge durations are problems being faced by these companies.
Blaer Motors, a company claiming that their hybrid system is the future. It is a plug-in hybrid technology that has been seen before on the Toyota Prius. Blaer claim that its system improves the performance of a regular motor while improving mileage and reducing pollution.
This company was founded by four individuals - Adarsh Lakshmanan, Abinesh Ekambaram, Ashwin Badri and Niranjan Kumar. This hybrid system was their college project and the company was founded in 2014. They spent four years just tweaking and improving their hybrid system. Blaer have also applied for three patents, out of which one has been granted.
The SPA system
The Blaer SPA unit consists of three primary components – an internal combustion engine, an electric motor and a BICS controller. When activated, the BICS controller activates the motor. Once you shift into second, things start to change, hybrid mode is activated and both the combustion and electric motor work together.
One of the big benefits of the SPA system is the fact that it can run with its electric and combustion motor in isolation. Furthermore, they can both work together as well. Blaer claims that the SPA system has the potential to increase efficiency by 40 percent.
The hybrid system was first showcased on a TVS Jive. However, we rode the company’s newest development that used a FZ16. It looked nothing like the FZ though, since the bodywork had been extensively redesigned. The fuel tank felt wider, this was in order to fit the batteries that the motorcycle needs. Interestingly, the tank at 5 litres is a lot smaller than one would find on the FZ. As one would expect, the motorcycle wasn’t built to be the best quality since it was a prototype and not a final product. The electric motor has a peak power output of 2kW at 10,000rpm and battery capacity is 72V.
How does it ride?
As we told you earlier, the bike starts in electric mode and unlike a regular electric motorcycles, this one is equipped with gears. You shift into first and slowly let off the clutch with a low amount of throttle input. As we ride a little further and shift into second, the combustion motor comes to life. Then onwards, from second to fifth, the bike runs in hybrid mode. However, that is until you shift back into first.
The bike does feel like a regular motorcycle while accelerating and cruiser however, when you let off throttle you start to realise that you are riding a hybrid. The speed starts dropping a lot quicker than a regular bike. Another nice thing is that we could ride the motorcycle as slow as 25kph without knocking. The motor also switches to regular combustion mode once you run out of battery power. We believe the motorcycle was a good concept and the company only needs to work on how the bike transitions from combustion to electric mode.
Should I buy one?
The hybrid system can be added to a motorcycle for Rs 40,000, along with this comes an additional weight of 9kg. But, the manufacturer is looking to bring down the cost to Rs 10,000. Blaer is also working on selling their technology to some larger manufacturers.
At present, the regular combustion motor is still the most affordable means. But, we will have to shift to electric at one point of time. According to us, this hybrid system can work a bridge between the transitions from combustion to electric. The biggest thing however, is that this system reduces emissions.
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