February saw the official end of the collaboration stage of the TE-1 project electric motorcycle project, with the completion of the prototype demonstrator, which is now fully ready for the next Triumph-led stage of the project to begin – the live testing programme.
The project delivers on the objectives announced before the start of the TE-1 project in August 2019, which focused on developing specialist electric motorcycle technology and innovative integrated solutions, the 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 through Innovate UK, was set up to create ground-breaking developments in specialist electric motorcycle engineering and innovative integrated technology design.
Project Triumph TE-1 has now been revealed in completed prototype form. The unique collaboration between Triumph Motorcycles, Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), Integral Powertrain Ltd, and WMG at the University of Warwick funded by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles through Innovate UK, was set up to create ground-breaking developments in specialist electric motorcycle engineering and innovative integrated technology design.
Marking the official end of the collaboration stage of the TE-1 project, the completed demonstrator is now fully ready for the next Triumph-led stage of the project to begin – the live testing programme – integrating for the first time all of the latest and final innovations from the project partner workstreams.
Phase 3 of the TE-1 project has now reached its completion, with the final build of the prototype demonstrator. Integrating for the first time all of the latest and final innovations from the project partner workstreams, the prototype demonstrator features:
Triumph: final chassis, including frame, rear sub-frame, cockpit, panels and wheels, final drive system including transmission and Gates Carbon belt drive, electronics, Öhlins USD cartridge forks, unique prototype Öhlins RSU, Brembo M50 monobloc calipers, and Triumph motorcycle control software
Williams Advanced Engineering: final iteration of prototype WAE battery pack incorporating dedicated cell packaging for optimum centre of gravity, vehicle control unit, DCDC converter, integrated cooling, charge port, and styled carbon covers
Integral Powertrain: final prototype powertrain with scalable integrated inverter and combined motor with silicon carbide switching technology and integrated cooling
WMG, University of Warwick: final pre-live trial simulation completed, with all results indicating that the project is on course to deliver the intended performance and durability outcomes
The WAE battery pack incorporates dedicated cell packaging for optimum centre of gravity, vehicle control unit, DCDC converter, integrated cooling, charge port, and styled carbon covers. This all-new WAE-developed powertrain will set new standards for electric bike performance, with class-leading power, efficiency, charging time and range.
Wholly responsible for TE-1’s lightweight, ground-breaking battery system, WAE has employed a holistic approach to development which will allow riders to use more electric power for longer, providing access to outstanding performance regardless of battery charge, alongside rapid charging times.
The all-new battery has peak power of 170kW and continuous power of 90kW, with a capacity of 15kWh. This enables the motorbike to deliver 130kW of peak power and 80kW of continuous power. Class leading system cooling combined with the optimum balance of power and energy means TE-1 can give the rider more electric power for longer and deliver outstanding performance regardless of battery charge. The 360-volt system also enables a fast-charging time of under 20mins (0-80%), which is combined with a market leading target range.
WAE has optimised the battery module layout to balance mass and positioning within the prototype chassis taking into consideration centre of gravity, space and relationship with the powertrain and charging approach. A new and bespoke vehicle control unit has been integrated into the battery pack to minimise weight and packaging.
Integral Powertrain's e-Drive Division; Integral e-Drive' developed a new, highly integrated motor and inverter powertrain as part of the project. A bespoke, very high-power-density Integral e-Drive electric motor has been combined with new, ultra-low-loss Silicon Carbide power-stage, which, like Integral e-Drives electric machines, is itself extremely scalable.
For the TE-1 application, the motor achieves peak and continuous power densities of 13 kW/kg and 9 kW/kg respectively which is 60% higher than new APC technology roadmap targets for 2025. All of this has been achieved using materials and processes compatible with volume automotive production and importantly using a length scalable motor platform.
Key project achievements during this phase include test results that exceed current benchmarks and targets set by the UK Automotive Council for 2025, providing a platform with great potential for future development in electric motorcycle performance.
The overall objective of the TE-1 project has been focused on developing electric motorcycle capability, in order to provide an input into Triumph’s future electric motorcycle offering, driving innovation, capability, and new intellectual property, and enhancing the credibility and profile of British industry and design.
With the completion of the prototype demonstrator, the full live testing phase of the TE-1 project will now begin. Over the next six months the prototype demonstrator will undertake an extensive live testing programme within Triumph’s state-of-the-art facilities, including rolling road and track testing, designed to provide direction into the final set up and calibration of the prototype demonstrator.
At the completion of the live testing phase, estimated to be Summer 2022, the prototype demonstrator will be updated with its final body panels in readiness for active track demonstration. At this time, final specifications and testing outcomes will be published, as well as insights and key facts on how the TE-1 delivers on the project targets including final battery and range performance.
“It has been truly exciting to see the progress made during phase 3 of Project Triumph TE 1 with the final prototype motorcycle now going into real life testing. Everyone involved at Triumph is proud to have been part of this innovative British collaboration. Personally, I am thrilled with the results we have already achieved with our partners, and the exciting preview of the potential electric future to come.” said Nick Bloor, Triumph CEO. “We look forward to continuing the ambitious and innovative work on the TE-1 demonstrator prototype through the live testing phase and sharing the outcome with Triumph fans across the world.”
Following completion of Phase 2 of the programme in March 2021, which delivered a fully bench tested battery, WAE has now concluded work on Phase 3 which contained some critical gateways for the project. In addition to supporting a number of hardware and software solutions; specifically integrating Triumph’s motorcycle control software to work in harmony with WAE’s controller and battery management system, the team has enhanced the integration of the mechanical and electrical solutions; optimising battery layout to balance mass and positioning within the chassis.
The demonstrator bike is now undergoing final battery level validation and calibration to ensure the performance results meet best-in-class power and energy density targets and for the rider, ensuring there is no compromise in performance at low levels of charge.
“Following an extended period of testing, we are thrilled to finally see the results of our work on a physical bike. By working with the team at Triumph, we have continued to push the boundaries of battery technology, keeping the rider in mind at all times” said Dyrr Ardash, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Williams Advanced Engineering. “Because we have designed the battery from the ground-up, design has not been compromised and we have been able to maximise the potential of cutting edge technology, offering both performance and all important, range”.
The development has taken place against the background of WAE’s acquisition by Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) are setting the pace for ground-breaking innovation in the green energy space, as Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) enters into an agreement to acquire the UK-based WAE.
This acquisition brings together leading thinkers and engineers into one organisation to drive progress and combat climate change, enabling Fortescue to become a major player in the growing global market for green industrial transport equipment.
WAE will bring its race bred critical battery technology to FFI, which will in turn enable Fortescue, one of the largest iron ore producers in the world and a heavy carbon emitter, to realise its industry leading 2030 net-zero target. This will be achieved by working together to help bring green energy to life in programmes such as Fortescue’s 3km long freight trains, 400 tonne haul trucks and industrial heavy mobile equipment.
TE1: At a glance
- Reveal of the completed Triumph Motorcycles’ TE-1 prototype demonstrator marks the end of the project’s collaboration phase enabling the cutting-edge electric bike to begin live testing
- The collaboration, between Triumph Motorcycles, Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), Integral Powertrain and WMG was set up to create ground-breaking developments in specialist electric motorcycle engineering and innovative integrated technology design
- Its all-new, next-generation lightweight battery and e-powertrain system has been developed by WAE and raises the bar for electric bike performance, efficiency and range
- Advanced cell & module specification realises optimum balance between battery power and energy
- Industry-leading technology developed by WAE includes all-new battery management software, integrated vehicle control unit and a compact DC-DC converter
- Rider benefits include more power for longer, outstanding performance regardless of battery charge, faster charging and optimised bike handling through enhanced frame position