We now have learned from Orbital News that a major scooter company in Taiwan also has adopted Orbital Direct Injection combustion process. First launched in low volume production in December 2004, the Kymco KDI X-Mode 100 resulted from a 50:50 joint venture between Orbital and Siemens VDO.
Illustration of Port Injection system using an ECU made by Siemens VDO. To control engine speed at idle and to improve cold-starting the engine cylinder head temp (air-cooled engine) or coolant temperature is measured and supplementary air bypass flow to the engine is controlled by the ABV (Air Bypass Valve).
As a part of vehicle certification, the Taiwan EPA audited 85 motorcycles, and from them, selected the top 14. The green motorcycles were ranked by the vehicle’s…
- HC+NOx emissions
- CO emissions
- Fuel economy
- Then a sum of those three categories.
The Kymco KDI X-Mode 100 was the clear winner, “with the lowest CO emissions of the group, and a very close 2nd best within the group for both fuel efficiency (with 50.8 km/litre) and HC+NOx emissions (0.7 gm/km).”
Of the 14 vehicles, the Kymco KDI X-Mode 100 was the only 2 stroke engine product. It competed against both carburetted and Port Fuel Injected (PFI) 4 stroke engines that ranged between 50 and 125 cc displacement.
The Taiwan (EPA) Environmental Protection Agency judged the Kymco KDI X-Mode 100 scooter as the best motorcycle in their green motorcycle category, confirming, at least for Orbital, that direct injected 2 strokes can compete directly with 4 stroke engines for emission control and fuel economy.
The results of the Taiwan EPA analysis has relevance to utilization of Direct Injection technology in other countries. in Delhi, all two-stroke three wheelers—regardless of fuel—must convert to four stroke engines in an effort to reduce pollution in the city.
In addition, according to the Kymco Taiwanese web site, the KDI X-Mode 100 out accelerates competitor 4 stroke product, both in straight line performance, and in particular on hill climbing and steep gradients.
“Among the features of REGDi are greater fuel efficiency, low oil consumption, increased torque and power and better acceleration.” With fuel consumption reported by the company to be 44 kilometers per liter there should be a ready market for the GDI autorickshaws as commercial taxis because of the more rapid ROI.
These results have relevance not only to the Delhi ordinance, but also for transport policy throughout India. Currently, the country’s transportation department is considering mandatory fuel economy standards.
One might imagine that vehicle owners would much more prefer the cost of an Orbital direct injection kit than replacing every two-stroke engine with a four-stroke engine, particularly where climbing ability is an important feature. On the other hand, Bajaj Auto may offer Direct Injection in 4 wheel vehicles; and, Synerject is developing engine management systems and components for 4 stroke engines that utilize direct injection and a catalytic converter.
A gasoline engine modified to utilize direct injection has the advantage to accept other fuels with only slight modifications. Alternative fuels include ethanol, methane and hydrogen. Orbital refers to this system as FlexDI.
Note: In the partnership, Orbital developed the direct injection system and Siemens VDO supplied the ECU (Engine Control Unit). While originally chartered to provide OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) with gasoline direct injection applications in the Marine, Motorcycle and Recreation industries.
Synerject has since expanded development of gasoline engine management systems and components to other, non automotive, small gasoline engine applications, such as those of the Lawn and Garden and Industrial markets.
In November 2006 Synerject purchased the 40,000-square-foot Delavan plant in Wisconsin, which was the former electronics components factory of BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products) US Inc., the manufacturer of Johnson and Evinrude outboard motors.
Synerject this year also began building an R&D center in Chongqing, China, specifically for development of products for the motorcycle industry.
So far, there has been no change in the ownership structure of the Synerject joint venture since the purchase by Continental of Siemens VDO Automotive was purchased by Continental. Conti remains a 50% partner in the Synerject joint venture, investing in another company that could improve its portfolio in terms of reducing CO2 emissions.