WITH THE exciting reveal of the innovative advanced electric powertrain and battery and the first styling sketches for the final Project TE-1 Prototype, Phase 2 of this landmark four phase collaboration in British design and engineering led by Triumph Motorcycles has reached a successful conclusion.
Delivering on the objectives announced at the start of the TE-1 project in May 2019, focused on developing specialist electric motorcycle technology and innovative integrated solutions, this unique collaboration between Triumph Motorcycles, Williams Advanced Engineering, Integral Powertrain Ltd, and WMG at the University of Warwick funded by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), has already achieved significant results. Part of the Department for Transport and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy,OZEV is a team working across government to support the transition to zero emission vehicles, as well as funding to support chargepoint infrastructure across the UK. This will contribute to economic growth and will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution on UK roads.
A two-year project focused on developing technical innovation and advanced electric motorcycle capabilities, Project Triumph TE-1 is a groundbreaking collaboration between Triumph Motorcycles and the UK’s electrification experts, each of whom is focused on creating innovations in their own areas. Triumph Motorcycles is providing advanced motorcycle chassis design and engineering expertise, manufacturing excellence and pioneering functional safety systems, as well as defining electric drivetrain power delivery characteristics. Williams Advanced Engineering is providing industry-leading lightweight battery design and integration capability, using its test and development facilities to deliver an innovative battery management system combined with vehicle control unit. Integral Powertrain Ltd’s e-Drive Division is leading the development of bespoke power-dense electric motors and a silicon carbide inverter, integrating both into a singular motor housing. WMG, at the University of Warwick is providing electrification expertise, and the critical vision to drive innovation from R&D to commercial impact, through modelling and simulation based on future market needs.
Including innovation in battery and powertrain design, initial test performance results far exceed the current benchmarks and industry targets. Developments in performance, efficiency and range is enabling Project TE-1 to fully deliver the partnership’s objectives to enhance the credibility and profile of British industry providing substantial input into future electric motorcycle strategy from Triumph.
The project is organised into four main phases, with one of its key aims being increased systems integration. By developing individual components of automotive-based electric drivetrains and optimising them into innovative combined units, the project aims to deliver sophisticated electric motorcycle systems which reduce mass, complexity and package requirements.
Triumph Motorcycles is working alongside the partner organisations to accelerate joint expertise in the packaging and safety of batteries, optimum electric motor sizing and packaging, the integration of braking systems including regenerative braking, and advanced safety systems. The innovation and capabilities developed in these areas will input into Triumph’s future electric motorcycle strategy.
Based on the agreed specification, Williams Advanced Engineering identified appropriate cell technology and battery architecture to deliver the performance objectives. Using this as a framework, WAE then optimised the battery module layout to balance mass and positioning within the prototype chassis taking into consideration centre of gravity, space and relationship with the powertrain and charging approach. In addition to the module layout, the company has also developed a new and unique vehicle control unit which is integrated into the battery pack to minimise weight and packaging. In parallel, WAE has also created innovative battery management software to ensure power is delivered in relationship to battery performance. The outcome of Phase 2 for WAE includes a fully bench-tested battery with performance results that exceeds anything else on the market in terms of Power and Energy Density.
WMG has been working closely with all the TE-1 partners during Phase 1 and 2 to develop representative models to simulate the systems of the bike including battery, motor and vehicle control. Initially this allowed WMG to validate the specification against the intended component selection by assessing performance criteria such as range and top speed with initial models. This has enabled Triumph to carry out software development at an early stage prior to hardware being built with thorough testing programmes to ensure that real-life testing can deliver on refinement. Most recently WMG has been conducting powertrain rig testing using the prototype IPT powertrain to ensure the simulations are accurate and to confirm that the motor functions within the system as intended. WMG has also been providing guidance to Triumph relating to future legislation, charging infrastructure and recycling strategies that will need to be implemented across future electric motorcycle platforms.
Throughout phase 2, Triumph has developed an all-new advanced vehicle control software which incorporates all of the electrical systems to ensure intuitive throttle response, regen braking, traction control and all of the dimensions that a customer would expect from a high-performance Triumph motorcycle. Additionally, the manufacturer has integrated leading functional safety strategies into this software, plus supported WMG in rig testing and has also fully developed the new prototype instrument display. Alongside this electrical and control system work, a brand new prototype chassis has been designed, including main frame and rear frame which have been optimised alongside the battery and motor packages which will be further evolved in Phase 3 into the TE-1 Prototype which will be used as a mule test platform in Phase 4. During this chassis development Triumph has taken into account both the transmission design and the final styling of the TE-1 Prototype, the drawings of which are revealed in this article for the first time.
Steve Sargent, Triumph’s Chief Product Officer, told Bikers Nod: “The starting point for us in the TE-1 project was to gather important customer feedback about what riders really want from their motorcycles and understand how an electric motorcycle can provide the experience that riders desire. This includes considering the type of riding, range, feel and nature of power and torque delivery together with the ergonomics and bike controls. Taking all of this feedback into consideration we began the chassis design, focusing on bringing everything together on the TE-1 Prototype in a way that provides a riding experience that is exciting and new, but ultimately familiar. We have begun to define the powertrain and battery interaction through the use of software refinement to deliver an exhilarating power delivery and throttle response, which provides great control and feels intuitive to the rider.
“Overall with the styling we wanted to create something that is fresh and exciting, but a natural evolution of the Triumph brand. Something desirable in its own right, with distinctive Triumph DNA and definitely not something that is different just for the sake of being different. Pulling all of this together with the partners, we are thrilled to see the progress of such an exciting demonstration vehicle which incorporates the cutting-edge technology needed to guide the strategy for the future roadmap of electric motorcycles from Triumph. The team is proud to be leading such an innovative, strong and dynamic project with a fantastic group of partners which ultimately should set British engineering and design rightly at the forefront of future two-wheel design.”
Master film for Project TE-1 phase 2: Prototype powertrain: https://vimeo.com/user44918265/review/522800147/20f2db41e6