We’ve been waiting quite some time for motorcycle manufacturers to get in on the electric game following the release of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire in 2019 and finally it looks like Triumph might be the next brand to offer a premium electric motorcycle worldwide.
Triumph are seemingly taking a leaf from H-D’s book and are actively releasing info on how their EV development project is going, bucking the trend of the rest of the industry, with the end of the project's second phase announced overnight with the reveal of a functioning battery and powerplant prototype.
"One of the most influential factors in how well a motorcycle handles and performs is mass, so at Integral Powertrain we have focused heavily on making a step change in motor and inverter design, removing heavy high voltage cables for example. This delivers a product that is significantly more compact and lighter than anything currently available on the market. The motor produces 130kW or almost 180 horsepower, but weighs only 10 kilograms, much lighter than existing technology and clearly a small fraction of the mass of traditional internal combustion engines,” said Andrew Cross, Chief Technical Officer at Integral Powertrain Ltd.
“The silicon carbide switch technology in our new scalable integrated inverter will help set new standards in terms of electric motorcycle efficiency; application of this technology means a lighter weight overall with significantly more performance and range. In parallel, we have a very strong focus on design for manufacture and assembly activity, so that all this high motor and inverter performance can be offered cost-effectively. Ultimately, this is really going to be an industry-leading powertrain that will help define the future of electric mobility. With the TE-1 project we are proud to be part of this landmark project for British industry.”
Project Triumph TE-1 is a collaboration between Triumph Motorcycles and the UK’s electrification experts, with each of the project partners focused on furthering the project with their own niche expertise.
The project is organised into four main phases, with one of its key aims being increased systems integration. By developing individual components of automotive-based electric drivetrains and optimising them into innovative combined units, the project aims to deliver sophisticated electric motorcycle systems which reduce mass, complexity and package requirements.
Triumph Motorcycles is working alongside the partner organisations to accelerate joint expertise in the packaging and safety of batteries, optimum electric motor sizing and packaging, the integration of braking systems including regenerative braking, and advanced safety systems. The innovation and capabilities developed in these areas will input into Triumph’s future electric motorcycle strategy.
“The completion of Phase 2, and the promising results achieved to date, provide an exciting glimpse of the potential electric future and showcase the talent and innovation of this unique British collaboration. Without doubt, the outcome of this project will play a significant part in our future efforts to meet our customer’s ambition and desire to reduce their environmental impact and for more sustainable transportation,” said Triumph CEO, Nick Bloor. “This important project will provide one of the foundations for our future electric motorcycle strategy, which is ultimately focussed on delivering what riders want from their Triumph; the perfect balance of performance, handling and real-world usability, with genuine Triumph character.”
Throughout phase 2 Triumph has developed an all-new advanced vehicle control software that incorporates all of the electrical systems to ensure intuitive throttle response, regenerative braking, traction control and all of the dimensions that we would expect from a high-performance Triumph.
Alongside this electrical and control system work, Triumph has designed a brand-new prototype chassis including main frame and rear frame which have been optimised alongside the battery and motor packages which will be further evolved in Phase 3 into the TE-1 Prototype which will be used as a mule test platform in Phase 4.
During this chassis development, Triumph have taken into account both the transmission design and the final styling of the TE-1 Prototype which was revealed with the initial sketches below.
"Overall with the styling we wanted to create something that is fresh and exciting but a natural evolution of the Triumph brand," says Triumph Chief Product Officer Steve Sargent.
"Something desirable in its own right, with distinctive Triumph DNA and definitely not something that is different just for the sake of being different. Pulling all of this together with the partners we are thrilled to see the progress of such an exciting demonstration vehicle which incorporates the cutting-edge technology needed to guide the strategy for the future roadmap of electric motorcycles from Triumph. The team are proud to be leading such an innovative, strong and dynamic project with a fantastic group of partners which ultimately should set British engineering and design rightly at the forefront of future 2 wheel design.”
It definitely looks like a high-performance Triumph Roadster should, and with global companies in the automotive sector indicating that the end of internal combustion engines is nigh, the work Triumph is doing in the bike sector could prove to be very beneficial to the industry.