The British government has looked at companies like Triumph and Wheels Motorcycles; both manufacturers, and dealerships, and have decided that they need to join the battle for electric motorcycling. The government’s backing a joint effort by Triumph and Williams Advanced Engineering, alongside Integral Powertrain and WMG, in order to develop British-built electric motorcycles.
The joint effort was dubbed “Project Triumph TE-1”, a two-year effort that’s partially funded by the UK with the goal of allowing the country and its motorcycle industry, Wheels Motorcycles included, to compete in an emerging electric motorcycle market.
Each group in the alliance broke down their respective roles and contributions:
- Triumph is in charge, providing the ‘cycle’ parts of the prototype and laying out the specifications of the electric powertrain, as well as contributing to the design and installation of the regenerative braking and advanced safety systems.
- Williams Advanced Engineering will handle the designing, development, production and installation of the electrical components; the lightweight battery pack, battery management unit, as well as the vehicle control unit.
- Integral Powertrain’s e-Drive Division will create the motor, a custom-built piece with high power density, with a silicon carbide inverter, installed as part of the motor housing.
- WMG, at the University of Warwick, will handle commercialisation; studying the market to determine future needs.
- Innovative UK, is the government department that’ll be providing government support and funding, as the partnership’s success will get more electric motorbikes onto the road, which is a win for the agencies tasked with cutting down on road congestion and vehicle emissions.
The end-goal is to develop every member’s capabilities in a motorcycle context, while positioning Triumph to be able to produce an electric motorcycle for mass production within the next couple of years.
Triumph Chief Product Officer Steve Sargent says that creating a proper Triumph electric powertrain as a key part of the effort, alongside their twin and triple cylinder engines. As part of their efforts to create an electric motorcycle, he adds, Project Triumph TE-1 is a big collaboration that’ll help provide key input into their future.
The alliance won’t be bringing something new into the market for a bit, but, it could be a huge win if this collaboration creates a highly marketable electric motor and battery pack, especially if it manages to rope in the enthusiast market.