Tongji University based in Shanghai will team up with several Italian auto manufacturers to research hybrid motorcycles that are expected to significantly reduce emissions and save energy, Tongji officials revealed on Thursday.
Tongji signed an agreement with the Italian Ministry for Environment and Territory yesterday to set up a Sino-Italian Sustainable Urban Mobility Research Center in Shanghai.
Tongji researchers have already done some theoretical work on the hybrid motorcycle, but have yet to build a prototype. The motor will be designed to use multiple fuels -- mainly electricity plus gasoline or natural gas.
It will be able to switch between the two power systems depending on the situations. If the motorcycle is waiting at a red light or running at a very low speed, the motor will shut off the gasoline engine and rely simply on electrical power.
That is expected to ease environmental pollution by reducing emissions by about 30 percent, Tongji officials said.
During the acceleration process, the electric engine is also able to help the gasoline engine reach a high speed within a short period. That is expected to reduce power consumption and improve engine efficiency by 30 percent, researchers said.
The Italian government will put up 1 million euros (US$1.23 million) to build 10 prototypes over the next 18 months.
(Shanghai Daily April 21, 2006)