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Triumph showcases sketches of the TE-1 prototype

The TE-1 prototype is Triumph’s first attempt at infiltrating the electric motorcycle space

Karan Ramgopal

Karan Ramgopal

Triumph has showcased its plans to develop an electric motorcycle. The project called, TE-1 is a collaboration between Triumph and three other organizations that include Williams Advanced Engineering, Integral Powertrain LTD, and WWG at the University of Warwick and is being funded by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK.

The project was slated to be four phases long and started in May 2019. Triumph has made this announcement, now in March 2021 after completing the second phase that involved prototyping and testing. The team at Hinckley has showcased the first sketches of what the final bike will look like and from what we can see from the sharp lines and aggressive styling, it is very clearly a naked roadster with design inspirations from the Street Triple and Speed Triple families.

TE-1 chassis with the battery pack and motor
TE-1 chassis with the battery pack and motor

Of the four participants in the project, Triumph is responsible for the development of the chassis and handling the manufacturing and engineering aspects. It will also be fine-tuning the power delivery from the electric powertrain as well as creating the safety systems for the bike. The team at Williams Advanced Engineering, from what Triumph claims, is pioneering the development of a battery that will be lightweight and capable of providing all of the power on tap all the time despite the amount of charge available and apart from this they claim to be creating a battery that would offer a lot more range than current industry standards. The team is also developing a battery management system combined with the vehicle control unit.

Integral Powertrain Ltd’s, e-Drive division is handling the development of the power-dense electric motor and the silicon carbide inverter. They have also been tasked with making both components i.e. the motor and the inverter in a single housing. From Triumph’s statement, the team seems to be doing extremely well and have already managed to come up with a solution where the motor that weighs around 10kg is putting out near 174.3bhp. The team at WWG at the University of Warwick is aiding the project by means of running test and simulations with the components and testing factors range, top-speed and other tests that have allowed the team at Triumph to develop software that incorporates all the systems to ensure proper throttle-response, regenerative braking, traction control while managing the batteries.

TE-1 motor
TE-1 motor

Commenting on the completion of Phase 2, Nick Bloor, Triumph CEO said, “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 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 focused on delivering what riders want from their Triumph; the perfect balance of performance, handling and real-world usability, with genuine Triumph character.”

According to Triumph, a rideable prototype should be ready by the end of 2021 and it will be extremely interesting to see what the final product looks like. Triumph, after Harley-Davidson is amongst the first major motorcycle manufacturers to announce an electric motorcycle, further emphasising the fact that more manufacturers are headed towards electrification.

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