COLUMN: The Ethanol Problem
- Jul 16, 2019
- Views : 377
TVS has launched an ethanol-powered variant of its Apache RTR 200 at Rs 1.2 lakh. This makes it Rs 8,600 more expensive than the petrol-powered Apache RTR 200 4V ABS that costs Rs 1.11 lakh (both ex-showroom Delhi). According to TVS, this new Apache RTR 200 Fi E100 will run on E100, which is 100 percent ethanol and makes the same power and torque than its petrol-powered Fi counterparts. In addition to being an environment-friendly source of fuel, ethanol is priced significantly lower than petrol, which should make the RTR 200 4V E100 quite affordable to run.
The ethanol-powered Apache RTR 200 Fi E100 has cosmetic differences only in the form of a white paintjob with green graphics and ‘Ethanol’ written on the fuel tank. Other than that it carries the same underpinnings as the petrol-powered Apache RTR 200. However, it gets a single-channel ABS unit instead of the dual-channel ABS setup on the petrol variant.
TVS has modified the Apache RTR 200’s fuel-injected powerplant to run on 100 percent ethanol. For this, they have changed certain elastomer and rubber parts and used a twin spray, twin port electronic fuel injection setup. This ethanol-fueled motor makes 21PS at 8500rpm and 18.1Nm at 7000rpm. Claimed top speed is 129kmph. More significantly, the motor emits 50 percent less benzene and butadiene as well as significantly reduced NOX and CO. If needed, this motor can run on a blend of 80 percent ethanol and 20 percent petrol too.
While TVS have the ethanol-powered Apache RTR 200 Fi E100 ready, Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog, stated that work is on to create the supply network needed to produce and provide ever-increasing blends of petrol and ethanol, rising up to 100 percent. Even discussions for permissions for ethanol distribution are reportedly underway.
Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, said the technology to produce ethanol from molasses (stage I), sugarcane juice (stage II), and biomass (stage III) is already available in India.
The Apache RTR 200 Fi E100 will initially be available only in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. While the bike has been launched, the availability of ethanol fuel does put a big question on the Apache RTR 200 4V’s immediate viability. The Apache RTR 200 Fi E100 would work well in export markets in South America, especially Brazil where the use of ethanol fuel for transportation is quite high.
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