Triumph have revealed the prototype of an innovative advanced electric powertrain and battery, and the first styling sketches for their Project TE-1 prototype. This completes Phase 2 of this four phase project that was launched back in May 2019 by Triumph in collaboration with three other partners.
Delivering on the objectives announced at the start of the TE-1 project in May 2019, focused on developing specialist electric motorcycle technology and innovative integrated solutions, this unique collaboration between Triumph Motorcycles, Williams Advanced Engineering, Integral Powertrain Ltd, and WMG at the University of Warwick funded by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, has already achieved significant results.
Williams Advanced Engineering have been responsible for creating a light-weight battery with an integrated vehicle control unit. The results exceed anything currently on the market in terms of power and energy density. This means that you will be able to ride further and accelerate faster and the technology hints at being able to balance acceleration against range. The battery will also deliver full power even when it is at a low charge.
Integral Powertrain E-Drive have been developing the electric motor itself. They integrated the inverter and motor (which are normally separate) into one unit to save on weight. The inverter changes the battery's DC into AC which the motor requires. The motor itself delivers close to 180 bhp with a weight of only 10kg.
The University of Warwick have been developing the simulation models and testing rigs needed to develop and prove the powertrain.
Triumph have been developing the chassis and vehicle control software. Steve Sargent, Triumph's Chief Product Officer said "The starting point for us in the TE-1 project was to gather important customer feedback about what riders really want from their motorcycles and understand how an electric motorcycle can provide the experience that riders desire. This includes considering the type of riding, range, feel and nature of power and torque delivery together with the ergonomics and bike controls. Taking all of this feedback into consideration we began the chassis design, focusing on bringing everything together on the TE-1 Prototype in a way that provides a riding experience that is exciting and new but ultimately familiar. We have begun to define the powertrain and battery interaction through the use of software refinement to deliver an exhilarating power delivery and throttle response, which provides great control and feels intuitive to the rider. Overall with the styling we wanted to create something that is fresh and exciting but a natural evolution of the Triumph brand. 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."
This is just a prototype project. Although the aim is to eventually compete in the growing electric motorcycle market this won't be for at least another 5 years we reckon. Phase 4 of the project will probably complete in 2023 and then it will take a few years to develop an actual saleable motorcycle. By then the technology may well have improved to give even lighter batteries that can deliver more range - and we may even have a standard charger plug by then too!
There is only one possible issue with this machine - an owner wouldn't be eligible for Club Membership. Currently the Club only allows people who own a motorcycle powered by an engine-unit manufactured by Triumph, if this motor (engine-unit) is manufactured by Integral Powertrain then it won't be a Triumph engine.