Chennai-based TVS Motor Company has been granted a patent for a hybrid three-wheeler that is low-cost and will help reduce fuel consumption, besides improving driving performance. The hybrid three-wheeler comprises an electric motor coupled with an internal combustion engine, which occupies less space and is easy to assemble as well as service. TVS Motor in 2017 had secured a similar patent for hybrid two-wheeler.
According to a patent document filed by the company, the hybrid three-wheeler offers reduced fuel consumption and improved driving performance. The electric motor is coupled with the internal combustion engine, which will thereby occupy less space and become easy to assemble and service, as they can be accessed from the rear portion (door) of the three-wheeler.
The 'invention' provides the benefit of eliminating any misalignment between the electric motor and the crankshaft/flywheel shaft as misalignment may occur due to tolerances during manufacturing and assembly of the individual parts. The sliding member enables flexible coupling of the flywheel of the internal combustion engine with the motor shaft, which are two critical driving components of the power train, the company submitted.
The Chennai patent office granted the patent, disposing of a patent application filed by the company in 2009. The patent gain comes at a time when the automobile industry is exploring ways and means to switch over to electric vehicles.
TVS Motor said the technology will provide a control system to suitably control the electric motor in order to operate the engine in its high-efficiency region.
Another objective was to provide a mounting arrangement for the electric motor that occupies less space and offer flexible connection with a crankshaft of the engine in order to take care of misalignments during manufacturing and assembly of the individual parts, it said.
The breakthrough will provide a means of securing an electric power source of the vehicle to avoid accidental short circuit during assembly and while driving. It will help reduce the effect of vibrations on the electric power source, the company said.
TVS Motor has also secured a patent relating to a motor-mounting system for the hybrid three-wheeler. Elaborating on the invention, the company submitted that in a conventional three-wheeler, the rear wheel receives power only from the engine, whereas in an electric three-wheeler, the drive wheels receive power from the motor alone. However, in a hybrid vehicle, it can receive power both from engine and motor, for which the motor could be integrated to a powertrain and the mounting of the motor to the powertrain with minimal changes in the vehicle layout is critical. Three-wheeler sales of the company grew by 11%, increasing from 13,141 units in August 2018 to 14,604 units registered in August 2019.