Semiconductors & Fuel Injectors to Cleanup Olympic Motorcycles

An unlikley partnership between an Austin-based semiconductor maker, a Michigan-based engineering firm and a Chinese motorcycle maker is working together to reduce the air pollution coming from Beijing’s many motorcycles. Electrojet is using Freescale’s advanced microcontroller technology in a new fuel injection system that will be put into motorcycles made by Guangzhou Dayang (maker of the official motorcycle of the Beijing Olympics), the companies said today. The system will reduce emissions 65 percent while boosting fuel efficiency 12 percent, the companies claim.

The bicycle is on the decline in China, and commuters are increasingly opting for a motorized ride. Motorcycles are booming along Chinese streets; the market is growing 13.9 percent annually and it’s expected to reach 44.4 million units by 2011, according to a study by market-researcher Freedonia Group Inc. But very often the two- or four-stoke engines of the little two-wheeled bikes have very poor emissions performance. That’s where Electrojet comes in.

Electrojet is targeting Chinese and Indian OEMs with its system, which is compatible with existing carburetors on four-stroke engines. According to the company, the system generates 65 percent less carbon monoxide, 35 percent less hydrocarbon and 35 percent less nitrogen oxide compared to a carburetor system. Not only that, Electrojet says it provides a 5 percent boost in horsepower.

An undisclosed number Beijing police and medical service motorbikes from Guangzhou Dayang will be equipped with the fuel injection system. Electrojet says it’s actively marketing its product in the Asian markets but has yet to announce a deal with any Indian or Chinese motorbike makers.

Using Freescale’s 16-bit S12XE microcontroller, ElectroJet has reduced the total number of sensors used in the fuel injection system, driving down cost to around $50 per unit. The company estimates that at current gas prices the product can pay for itself in as few as nine months, though it’s not clear which nation’s gas prices it’s using.

The effect this will have on Beijing’s air quality is questionable. Even though the city has shut down coal-power plants and construction and pulled cars off the road, pollution still blows in from nearby industrial centers. However, with motorbikes on the rise, reducing the emissions of small engines could do a lot for low-level smog and, Electrojet hopes, provide big business all across Asia.