The fast and dirty facts on the completion of phase 2 in Triumph’s ongoing TE1 electric motorcycle project.
Triumph Hinckley announced today that they’ve finalized the prototype electric powertrain and battery for their TE1 electric motorcycle, bringing phase 2 of the project to a close. The UK is throwing its best and brightest at the Triumph TE1 electric motorcycle project in hopes of putting Britain at the forefront of electric motorcycle technology and performance.
Triumph will now move on to phase 3 of the project, which is constructing the first real-world prototypes of the completed machine. While the rest of the bike is still somewhere between the drawing board and computer simulations, here are the latest updates on the TE1’s powertrain and design to hold you over.
The Triumph TE1 Is A Serious Project With Some Serious Backing
Triumph isn’t the only company working overtime on what they intend to be a groundbreaking piece of technology and innovation. In fact, they’ve enlisted some powerful allies for the TE1 project.
The British government, for example, has bought into the project, and is providing financial backing through the UK Government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles. According to Triumph, the impact of this project will extend far beyond putting a wildly powerful electric Speed Triple into the hands of speed freaks worldwide.
In fact one of the stated objectives of the Triumph TE1 project is “to enhance the credibility and profile of British industry” as a whole by making serious developments in the performance, range, and efficiency of electric vehicle technology. In other words, the entire country’s reputation is on the line here… So you’d be right to expect big things.
The Electric Motor Prototype Is Compact, Lightweight, And Stupid Fast
Sure, everyone wants to have the best motor on the market, and more than a few electric motorcycle companies are claiming they’ve got the bike to beat, but it looks like Triumph is going all-in on the motor for the TE1. In fact, they’re taking the motor so seriously they’ve outsourced it to electric performance specialists Integral Powertrain Ltd.
If you’re not familiar with Integral Powertrain, you should be. Their high-output electric motors are standard equipment on hypercars like the Aston Martin Valkyrie and Lotus Evija, and have taken podiums and broken records at the prestigious Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb. So yea, it’s safe to say the Triumph TE1’s motor is in good hands.
And while we’re still a long way away from final facts and figures on the production version, Triumph has released some astounding figures regarding the prototype.
Consider this: You could argue that the motor to beat currently is the bonkers Damon Hyperdrive system. According to Damon (we’re taking their word for it considering they have yet to deliver any of their pre-ordered Hypersport models), that motor weighs in at just 48lbs. That’s a 48-pound motor that generates a claimed 200-horsepower and somewhere north of 200 lb-ft of torque (what the hell does that even feel like, ya know?).
Triumph is claiming their current prototype electric motor weighs less than half of that, at just 22lbs (or 10 kg). They’re also quoting current power output at 130 kW, or just shy of 180 horsepower. While the full details of this wizardry have yet to be released, we know some of that weight reduction comes from (a) integrating the power inverter, motor control unit, and electric motor into a single compact housing and thus (b) removing the need for the high voltage (heavy) wiring that traditionally connects the two. And, because using a pint glass to illustrate size is the most British thing anyone could imagine, Integral Powertrain provided the following image of the new motor for scale.
The Triumph TE1 Battery Looks Just As Promising
Triumph is taking a similar approach with the TE1 battery system by outsourcing its development to Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE).
Williams is another name race fans will likely recognize. WAE is the technology branch of the Williams Group, which owns, among other things, the Williams Formula One race team. Williams Advanced Engineering is also the exclusive battery supplier to Formula E racing, so their racing pedigree is firmly established to say the least.
While there hasn’t been any substantial technical data released at this time, Williams claims that the completed prototype for the Triumph TE1 will “set a new standard in performance, weight, and range for electric motorcycles.” Considering their expertise in this department, we’re guessing that claim is a reliable one.
WAE states that their current performance testing and design revolves around track-based riding, with an emphasis on making the final product as aggressive a performer as possible. We’re into that.
Williams is also putting a heavy emphasis on the battery’s integration into the frame. According to WAE the new battery system has been carefully designed to optimize weight distribution inside the prototype frame to benefit handling. While the battery system doesn’t appear to be an outright stressed member of the chassis, its robust design does reportedly increase chassis rigidity.
The Triumph TE1, per Nick Bloor, Triumph’s current CEO:
“The completion of Phase 2, and the promising results achieved to date, provide an exciting glimpse of the potential electric future and showcase the talent and innovation of this unique British collaboration. Without a doubt, the outcome of this project will play a significant part in our future efforts to meet our customer’s ambition and desire to reduce their environmental impact and for more sustainable transportation. This important project will provide one of the foundations for our future electric motorcycle strategy, which is ultimately focussed on delivering what riders want from their Triumph; the perfect balance of performance, handling, and real-world usability, with genuine Triumph character.”