Pinnacle Engines develops fuel efficient 110cc scooter engine for Indian OEM
Wuhan, China, October 18, 2013: The Silicon Valley, California-based internal combustion engine design firm Pinnacle Engines has developed a single-cylinder, four-stroke, spark-ignited, 110cc scooter engine based on opposed-piston, sleeve valve technology for one of the top three Indian scooter manufacturers.
In an exclusive conversation with Autocar Professional on the sidelines of the ongoing fourth annual Global Automotive Forum (GAF 2013) in Wuhan, China, Ron Hoge, chairman and CEO, Pinnacle Engines, Inc revealed that “we have completely re-architected a 110cc scooter engine for one of the best-selling scooter manufacturers in India and it is in a pre-commercialisation stage currently. The Indian OEM is expected to roll out scooters with our engines in another 12-18 months.” He, however, refrained from naming the Indian two-wheeler manufacturer.
Hoge explained that Pinnacle Engines’ patented opposed-piston design does not use a cylinder head but instead deploys two pistons opposite each other within the cylinder for combustion process. “Using post-piston (opposed-piston) architecture in a 110cc scooter engine with a single-cylinder application was a tough task. But we have achieved a remarkable boost of 30-40 percent in the engine’s fuel economy,” revealed Hoge.
According to Hoge, though sleeve valve engines and opposed-piston architecture exist since the World War II days, the company has perfected the design suitable for the modern engines.
Working on the first ever Indian project, the optimistic Hoge hopes to crack more contracts on the back of this deal. “We are talking to another two-wheeler company over this technology and I expect we should be able to materialise it on the back of this deal. Further, we are also in touch with an Indian four-wheeler manufacturer on the same applications in car engines. It is too early to talk about those plans,” he added.
While electrification of vehicles still looks like a distant reality for a country like India where setting up an apt infrastructure is a deep-rooted challenge, a company such as Pinnacle Engines is all set to focus on emerging markets like India and China. “The two countries are key markets for us and we plan to expand our presence there,” Hoge signed off.
Photograph: A Pinnacle Engines’ product.
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