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29 Jun
  • Editorial Team
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Though fossil fuel-powered motorcycles have long been the norm in the automotive industry, the time has come to consider the possibilities of alternative fuel motorcycles. Motorcycles powered by electricity, air, water or even bio-fuel can offer advantages like quiet running, eco-friendliness, more power and sustainability. Adopting this form of a commute can reduce your dependence on non-renewable sources of energy like petrol and diesel, and help you leave behind a smaller carbon footprint. Though many critics consider alternative fuel motorcycles to be more expensive than traditional ones, the pros are quite substantial to fight the cons.

Types of Alternative Fuel Motorcycles

The future looks pretty exciting for alternative fuel motorcycles, as they are of different types and come with unique features.

  1. Air Bike: Pollution free bike that runs on AIR. Designed by Edwin Conan, this Green Speed Air Powered Motorcycle runs on compressed air and causes zero pollution. To store the ambient air in a compressed form in fiberglass tanks, solar panels are used. Though the air bike is a very cool concept, it can be hard to repair or finding cheap parts may be challenging. Hence, it is considered safe for the environment yet it still needs more development.

  2. Water Bike: Without petrol or diesel, bike runs on WATER. These bikes come with hydrogen cells that utilize catalyzed anodes so that the hydrogen atom gives off an electron. While this free electron powers an electric motor, the ionized atom combines with oxygen to produce water. A motorcycle that uses this alternative fuel is unique and great for the planet.

  3. Bio-Fueled Motorcycles: Food to Fuel bike. As bio-fuels are way more eco-friendly and sustainable than fossil fuels, motorcycles which run on them can be a great choice for the discerning consumer. But bikes that use butanol or ethanol might suffer from the low combustion energy of these bio-fuels. Bio-fuels produce lesser energy than gasoline and need to take in more air to run smoothly.

  4. Hybrid Electric: Hybrid diesel/electric engine. Developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the hybrid electric motorcycle runs quietly and uses battery power in stealth mode. But when you want more speed or more power, you can switch to a specialized diesel engine. The Redshift is a completely electric motorcycle that assures a maximum speed of 80 mph.

  5. Battery/Electric Vehicles – Electric motorcycles promise 100% torque, fast acceleration, and as they produce no smoke, they are eco-friendly. Their batteries are recyclable these days, and you can charge the bikes with solar power as well. Electric motorcycles are also lightweight and quiet. One of the companies which has launched two-wheelers with this tech is Ather Energy, which competes against many other electric scooters in a rapidly growing EV market in India.

  6. CNG Vehicles – Motorcycles that run on compressed natural gas or CNG stay cleaner than petrol or diesel bikes when they burn. CNG is cheaper than gasoline, and offers almost the same amount of power.
     



Advantages of using Alternate Fuels

  1. Environment Friendly – Motorcycles running on alternative fuels like air, water or electricity cause zero pollution and are environment-friendly. The ones that use bio-fuels are also a better bet than petrol or diesel bikes, as they use renewable energy sources.

  1. Lightweight and Comfortable – Bikes that run on alternative fuels or electricity are lighter than traditional models and easier to manage and maneuver. They have better aerodynamic designs too and are built more comfortably.

  1. New Designs and Structure – Alternative fuel motorcycles are products of advanced research and designed to offer more convenience and comfort. For instance, the electric bikes look very stylish, are lightweight and emit no sound, as they are structured to do so. The best engineers and scientists brainstorm to come up with designs that allow more speed with less energy consumption.

  1. Better Technology – The technology used in alternative fuel bikes is exceptional. For instance, electric hybrids can run on both battery and gas. Electric bikes offer instant acceleration and bikes running on bio-fuels reduce demand for foreign oil and put waste materials to good use. The bikes running on water offer double fuel economy than that of gasoline bikes and produce only water vapor as emission.

  1. Digital Instrumentation – The instrument consoles or panels in alternative fuel motorcycles are advanced and display everything from speed and fuel to clock, coolant temperature, gear position indicator, acceleration timer, over-speed alarm, and more. The backlighting is perfect to read figures and signs clearly.

Challenges in using Alternate Fuels

  1. Higher Purchase Cost – Since motorcycles that run on alternative fuels are more advanced and feature better designs and technology, their purchase costs are high. Accessories and chargers in case of electric bikes are costly too.

  1. Safety – As the technologies used in alternative fuel bikes is complex and new, their safety is not as thoroughly or widely tested.

  2. Higher Maintenance – Often, electric bikes require expensive batteries and chargers. For bikes that run on air or water, replacement parts are hard and expensive to find. For water-based bikes, hydrogen can be very expensive to transport and you will hardly find any place to refuel on road. Hence, these motorcycles require high maintenance.

  1. Fuel Dependency is more – Whether a motorcycle runs on compressed air or bio-fuel, it will need more of it than in the case of petrol or diesel. Even if a bike runs on CNG, it requires huge tanks to carry a small amount of gas, which is equal to just a few gallons of gasoline.

  1. High Repairing Cost – Alternative fuel motorcycles come in novel designs and have parts that are not easy to find or are costly. Hence, even small repairs can be hard on your pocket.

Conclusion

Alternative fuel motorcycles are truly a very innovative idea and they can benefit the environment in different ways. They don’t cause pollution, are fast, sustainable, quiet, and made with the latest technology and scientific research. On the other hand, they can be expensive, require high maintenance and can be costly to repair. Still, the pros have a definite edge over the cons and require you to find out more about these progressive bikes and how they can make your future a better one. As far as funding your new age bike is concerned, you can stop worrying as leading NBFCs offer attractive two-wheeler loans to make life easy for you.

Did You Know

Disbursement

The act of paying out money for any kind of transaction is known as disbursement. From a lending perspective this usual implies the transfer of the loan amount to the borrower. It may cover paying to operate a business, dividend payments, cash outflow etc. So if disbursements are more than revenues, then cash flow of an entity is negative, and may indicate possible insolvency.

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