The Zeppelin: India's Hydrid Cruiser Prototype
TVS probably isn't a bike manufacturer you are aware of, but in its home market India, the name is well recognised.
Boasting tie-ins with BMW and the new Apache RR310 sports bike, the Indian firm has slowly expanded it's reach onto the world stage, and now they have revealed a prototype for a petrol-electric hybrid cruiser-style bike called the Zeppelin, that will combine a 20hp four-stroke single with a 1200W electric motor and 48V lithium-ion battery.
This isn't the first time we've seen hybrid bikes. Piaggio has been linking electric motors and petrol engines for a decade, but it's the first we've seen from an Indian firm.
The number themselves aren't particularly exciting. 1200W is the equivalent of about 1.6hp - about the force of some vacuum cleaners - and the 48V battery is over half the size of the 102V used in full-on electric bikes like the Zero SR. In terms of raw power then, it's closer to the Yamaha EC-03 electric scooter.
There is potential in using an electric motor as an add-on to assist the petrol engine. By utilising the electric motor’s instant torque and the battery to store electric energy regenerated during braking, it could provide a helpful boost in power and range.
TVS is expected to create a production version of the Zeppelin within the next couple of years.