NEW DELHI: In their contribution towards green mobility, six final-year mechanical engineering students from Thiagarajar Polytechnic College in Salem, Tamil Nadu, have designed a low-cost eBike that can run 80 kms on full electric charge and recharge for the bike costs mere Rs 20.
The eBike is called Fuerza (meaning force in Spanish) and has been developed for just under Rs 1 lakh.
The six students -- Elavarassan, Abinash, Ahmed Taufeeq, Balachandran, Chandradevan and Jagadeeswaran -- aided by their faculty at the 60-year old polytechnic grabbed an old petrol motorcycle ready for the scrap heap and set to work on it.
They spent Rs 98,000 on the Fuerza prototype, but claim it can be produced on a mass scale for Rs 60,000-70,000.
"Once the lockdown is over, the College team would showcase their e-bike to bike manufacturers," Dr V. Karthikeyan, principal of Thiagarajar Polytechnic College, said in a statement.
The students chose a brushless DC Motor that delivered a max speed of 40 kmph. A belt drive was chosen that would reduce power consumption and protect the motor's life.
At the same time, the structure supports a load of 250 kg at a speed of 35 kmph.
The jury at 'Mobility Mission Festival 2019-2020', instituted under the aegis of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), awarded the project first prize and Rs 50,000 in cash reward recently.
According to the students, while the lack of charging stations is a big barrier, the biggest barrier seemed to be pricing.
They had to choose components carefully to keep them cost-effective, yet efficient and convenient.
Another issue to address was of storage space.
The student team used the fuel tank to convert it to an all-purpose storage unit of 12 litre capacity.
The bike's electric system is also customised using a mono shock absorber to reduce the vibrations affecting the body when the road is bad, informed Karthikeyan.