Two years ago, Triumph set out in a partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, Integral Powertrain Ltd.’s e-Drive Division, and WMG at the University of Warwick to develop an electric motorcycle.
The group is funded from theUK government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) via Innovate UK, and today they have reached “Phase 2” of their four-phase development process.
Effectively, this means Triumph et al have developed an electric drivetrain package for a motorcycle, and to make this a little sexier, they are sharing their design sketches for the prototype bike that they plan to build in Phase 3 of the project.
Dubbed the Triumph TE-1, the bike is a spitting image of the British marque’s Speed Triple offering, and the bike should make similar performance specs, with Triumph touting the nearly 180hp (130 kW) or power from the electric motor (which weighs only 22 lbs / 10kg).
Performance details beyond that, specifically the weight of the package and how much battery power it stores, are not being mentioned, which is a bit dubious, but the fruits of their labor look good so far.
Triumph has built a twin-spar aluminum frame for the motorcycle, and Williams has designed an integrated the vehicle control unit into the battery pack. Williams says this allows for package densities not previously seen in the space.
“We have focused on pushing the boundaries to reduce mass and optimize frame position to benefit handling. We have also pushed the limits of battery performance, balancing the design for acceleration and range, with simulations modelled on track-based riding. In other words, as aggressive as possible,” said Dyrr Ardash, Senior Commercial Manager, Williams Advanced Engineering.
“The energy density of this new battery will be a significant step forward from existing technology giving the rider more power, for longer. WAE has also designed and developed an electronic control unit from the ground-up, combining the battery management system with the bike control functions in one package. This is a first for this market, benefiting packaging and integration while optimizing performance and range.”
The motor and inverter have also been made into one integral unit, via the work done by Integral Powertrain Ltd., which helps reduce the volume of space the drivetrain uses, as well as gets rid of extra boxes, mounting features, coolant pipework, and heavy high voltage connections.
It’s not clear from the team’s timeline when a functional motorcycle will come from the project, or if the motorcycle prototype will lead to a full production model (though one would expect so).
The bike does look intriguing though. It will be interesting to see what performance specs can be realized, and how the bike performs in the real world. Until then…