BMW’s Indian partner TVS has revealed the Zeppelin; a concept bike that employs car-style hybrid technology and could go into production within a couple of years.
Making its debut at last week’s Auto Expo in Delhi, the Zeppelin’s key feature is its hybrid drive. The 220cc single-cylinder engine gives underwhelming specs – 20hp at 8500rpm. But the addition of an electric boost adds both performance and technical intrigue.
The engine itself is a new one. The water-cooled single is surely destined to power more TVS machines in future. But if the hybrid technology can also make its way to production it will give the firm a leg up against its opposition. TVS has been coy about the precise details of the electric hybrid power, but it seems to be a fairly basic set-up. At 1200V the electric motor is similar to those that power millions of Chinese electric scooters. So don’t expect neck-snapping acceleration. And the 48V lithium battery pack is a similarly budget-basement level piece of kit. But together they help boost the Zeppelin’s top speed to over 80mph.
TVS continued the electric theme with the Creon scooter concept. This all-electric twist-and-go claims an 80km (50 mile) range and speeds of over 60km/h. The battery charges to 80% capacity within an hour, too.
While both these bikes are just concepts at the moment, both are likely to have a production future. And with TVS showing interest in selling its machines outside India in the future, it could be a company that European riders become increasingly familiar with in the future.