Triumph's building a performance electric motorcycle

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Words: NZ Autocar
26 Mar 2021

Following on from the news that four major motorcycle makers are creating a battery consortium to simplify electric motorcycle development, one of those not involved, Triumph, has released details of its prototype electric performance roadster, dubbed TE-1. Clearly, they’re going it alone for the time being.

Triumph believes it is at the bleeding edge of electric motorcycle design, performance and dynamics. Note though, that the TE-1 is just a prototype and won’t necessarily translate to what is sold in a Triumph dealership; think of it as a testbed for future development.

Triumph has enlisted the help of several tech experts such as Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) to help in the project, given their expertise in lightweight battery design and integration. The motor is also from the UK, via Integral Powertrain. Like WAE, they have vast experience in electric motorsport.

The University of Warwick is also helping with electrification expertise, covering R&D and the commercial aspects of the endeavour. And also contributing is the Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles (OZEV), a division of the British government. OZEV assists with development funds, and is involved in supporting charging infrastructure.

Currently, the TE-1 looks vaguely like a Speed Triple, though at this stage final styling is an unknown. Triumph is clearly trying to build an electric motorcycle that feels akin to a conventional motorcycle. Thus, the appearance of being mass centralised and of being recognisably a Triumph.

The next step will see the bike being created, and towards the third quarter of this year, it should be up and running; UK outfit Visordown has been promised a test ride around October.

As to the nitty gritty, Andrew Cross of Integral Powertrain told Visordown recently that the powertrain combines a motor and inverter unit within one structure, the latter on the outside, the motor hidden within. Evidently the unit weighs just 15kg but can output 130kW, and 109Nm of torque so if weight is well contained, as with Triumph’s serious performance machinery, the TE-1 should be properly quick.

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