TVS has just launched an ethanol-powered variant of the Apache RTR 200 4V and is calling it the Apache RTR 200 Fi E100. Priced at Rs 1.20 lakh, the ethanol-powered Apache 200 Fi E100 is Rs 9,000 more expensive than the petrol-powered 200 4V, and also gets just a single-channel ABS, against the dual-channel system that is available on the petrol models. TVS has revealed the bike will initially be available only in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Karnataka. However, there's a catch. The TVS Apache RTR 200 Fi E100 cannot run on regular petrol. First showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo, the RTR 200 Fi E100 is essentially the same as the regular Apache, apart from the fuel it uses and the mechanical changes required to use the same.
Bio-ethanol fuel is mainly produced by the sugar fermentation process, and the main source of this sugar is ‘energy crops’; these include corn, maize and wheat – plants that grow well in our country. Ethanol is also biodegradable and low in toxicity so while this Apache (or other ethanol powered vehicles) aren’t electric per se, the ramifications of the combustion of Ethanol (lesser nitrogen and carbon monoxide emissions) are far lesser than that of burning fossil fuels. Adapting to ethanol-powered vehicles will also reduce the massive cost of importing fossil fuels.
Ethanol (or Ethyl Alcohol) doesn’t produce as much energy as petrol when it burns (approximately 34 percent less energy per unit volume), so to counteract the effects of this, more of it will have to be injected into the engine to make as much power as it would with petrol. It's likely that the combustion ratio has also been increased so the ethanol-powered Apache doesn't see a dip in performance. This means that the 197cc single-cylinder engine will make an identical 21hp at 8500rpm and 18.1Nm of torque at 7,000rpm. TVS has said that the running costs of the ethanol-powered Apache will be 97 percent that of a petrol powered one, assuming the price of ethanol at Rs 62 per litre. However, there is a chance that it might be cheaper since the Minister for Road Transport and Highways of India, Nitin Gadkari, who is pushing for ethanol as a fuel source, estimates that a litre will cost between 52-55 rupees. We've also been told that at the moment, there are no ethanol pumps in the country but it is something that is being worked on.
At the launch, Venu Srinivasan, chairman, TVS Motor Company, said “TVS Motor Company believes that ethanol-based products are an important option for our customers. This is due to the easy compatibility in transition to ethanol and its sustained positive impact on the environment without compromising on performance and total cost of ownership. TVS Apache RTR 200 Fi E100 is a breakthrough in the two-wheeler space that will set the trend for a green future in India.”
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