Electric bikes might not be quite as far down the road as electric cars, but big strides are being made all the time. Triumph, for example, is collaborating with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) and others on a plug-in bike of its own. The project was first announced last year, and now, there’s a prototype to show off.
The ‘TE-1’ appears to borrow quite liberally from the Triumph Street Triple, but in place of that bike’s inline-three and fuel tank is a motor and inverter from Integral Powertrain, powered by a battery pack from WAE.
The latter element has a capacity of 15kWh, and thanks to the TE-1’s 360-volt system, it’s possible to fast charge the pack from empty to 80 per cent in less than 20 minutes. The cell packaging is bespoke, allowing the pack to live far down in the bike’s frame to aid weight distribution. It’s
enclosed with some snazzy carbon fibre covers.
The TE-1 has a range of up to 120 miles and a power output of 174bhp. According to Integral’s CTO Andrew Cross, the package could potentially be wound up a whole lot further.
“The inverter concept, which is also scalable by tuning the number of Silicon-Carbide power stages for different diameter motors, has really delivered on performance. The TE-1 unit is capable of >500kW!” he said. Prefer that figure in old money? That’s over 670bhp. Crikey.
In reality, 174bhp is right on the money, as thanks to WAE’s hard work in keeping the battery pack’s weight down, the TE-1 is a lot lighter than you might expect. It tips the scales at around 220kg, which isn’t much heavier than the conventionally-powered Speed Triple.
The TE-1 marks the end of what’s referred to as the “collaboration phase”. From here, Triumph will lead the rest of the endeavour with an extensive test regime over six months. Once that’s done, the final body panels will be added, “in readiness for active track demonstration”. Beyond that, we should one day see a production version on sale alongside Triumph’s existing ICE bikes.