Williams Advanced Engineering has just dropped an update on its impressive new electric motorbike drivetrain, detailing peak power of 174bhp and a motor weight – according to project partner Integral Powertrain – of just 10kg.
The update marks the end of phase two of a four-phase project designed to provide British motorbike manufacturer Triumph with an electric sports bike. The project, named only TE-1 at this stage, is part-funded by government grants and is part of a wider UK initiative to push ahead with BEV technology.
Styling sketches of the TE-1 have been released as well, showing a racy naked bike with the battery in place of the fuel tank. It uses a single-sided swingarm design made truly sexy by race bikes and the likes of the Ducati 916.
The real news is that the setup can deliver a peak power of 174bhp, which is enough to make any motorbike very fast. If weight is kept below 200kg overall, the intrinsic torque from the EV gubbins means it’ll be extremely quick. The proviso for track days is that continuous power – the power the battery pack can deliver over very extended periods without overheating – is a more modest 121bhp.
While the specifics are being carefully hidden for now, WAE says that the new system delivers more power for longer than current technologies and the peak power available doesn’t decrease significantly as battery charge drops, like it does in many current designs. Riding range is described as ‘market-leading’ (not difficult in a market yet to really start) and a 0-80 per cent charge is yours in 20 minutes via a 360-volt fast-charging port.
The physical layout of the battery cells – totalling a 15kWh capacity – has been optimised for weight distribution and handling gains, taking into account the desired shape and anticipated lean angles it will be subject to. Triumph and WAE top brass released statements using words like “important,” “innovation,” “next-generation” and “optimised.” Real-world usability is said to be a key part of the development, and so is capability on track.
Oxfordshire-based Williams Advanced Engineering has plenty of motorsport experience with battery-powered vehicles, supplying battery systems for Formula E, Extreme E and ETCR. For the TE-1 project it is working with Integral Powertrain and The University of Warwick.