Triumph TE-1 in live testing phase
Triumph today signalled that their exciting TE-1 project, a collaboration between Williams Advanced Engineering, University of Warwick and Integral Powertrain, backed by the British Government investment via the UK Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, is one step closer to charging up British motorways.
Triumph recently completed Phase Three of the project with their development partners and were responsible for the production of the complete chassis and rolling stock. A Gates Carbon belt drive is utilised on the TE-1 prototype. The suspension and braking package look high end thanks to Ohlins, who made a unique prototype shock for the TE-1, and Brembo’s top notch M50 Monobloc’s grace the front end.
Williams Advanced Engineering were responsible for the battery pack, vehicle control unit, DC-DC converter, integrated cooling, charge port, and styled carbon covers.
Integral Powertrain: Final prototype powertrain with scalable integrated inverter and combined motor with silicon carbide switching technology and integrated cooling.
The motor is claimed to achieve peak and continuous power densities of 13 kW/kg and 9 kW/kg respectively which is 60% higher than new APC technology roadmap targets for 2025. All of this has been achieved using materials and processes compatible with volume automotive production and importantly using a length scalable motor platform. Integral claim the power unit will be capable of producing more than 500kW!
University of Warwick conducted the final pre-live trial simulation, with all results indicating that the project is on course to deliver the intended performance and durability outcomes
Key project achievements during this phase include test results that exceed current benchmarks and targets set by the UK Automotive Council for 2025, providing a platform with great potential for future development in electric motorcycle performance.
The overall objective of the TE-1 project has been focused on developing electric motorcycle capability, in order to provide an input into Triumph’s future electric motorcycle offering, driving innovation, capability, and new intellectual property, and enhancing the credibility and profile of British industry and design.
With Phase Three signed off now the project moves into Phase Four which is a six-month extensive live testing programme both with rolling road testing and track testing.
This is a huge task that will involve countless man hours invested to achieve the best throttle calibration, powertrain mapping and output tuning, the development of different Rider Modes and assessing the range and battery life in various scenarios. They must also ensure the bike is tuned in a manner that it keeps its cool via thermal optimisation.
The handling and braking regeneration strategies, along with the tuning of the traction and wheelie control functionality will take place on the racetrack.
At the completion of the live testing phase, somewhere are the middle of this year, the prototype demonstrator will be updated with its final body panels and paint scheme, in preparation for active track demonstration, and media engagement.
At this time, the full results of the project including the final specifications and testing outcomes will be published, as well as insights and key facts on how the TE-1 delivers on the project targets for innovation and sets new standards for the motorcycle sector overall, including final battery and range performance.
Nick Bloor – Triumph CEO
“It has been truly exciting to see the progress made during phase 3 of Project Triumph TE1 with the final prototype motorcycle now going into real life testing. Everyone involved at Triumph are proud to have been part of this innovative British collaboration. Personally, I am thrilled with the results we have already achieved with our partners, and the exciting preview of the potential electric future to come. We look forward to continuing the ambitious and innovative work on the TE-1 demonstrator prototype through the live testing phase and sharing the outcome with Triumph fans across the world.”
PROJECT TE-1 – PHASE 3 FINER DETAILS
The Triumph TE-1 team began phase 3 by successfully building an initial mule bike which incorporated the battery, inverter, motor, and chassis into one machine for the first time. Using this platform, all of the project partners worked collaboratively to optimise software integration across the complex systems, involving hundreds of hours of detailed testing to ensure the functionality of all the features and software aspects behave accurately and intuitively, as a customer would expect.
This was validated in real life simulation work carried out at WMG, involving detailed powertrain rig testing and simulations to assess safety critical items relating to motor function and vehicle control. Durability testing on the primary transmission has also been conducted to ensure a full understanding of the fundamental differences in electric motor load application for vehicle use cases, efficiency, and consequences to gear life.
Alongside this work, the Triumph-led design of the bespoke chassis has focused on delivering the phase 2 styling intent as closely as possible. Phase 3 of the project is now complete with the fully assembled TE-1 demonstrator prototype, the photographs of which are revealed for the first time today.
Steve Sargent – Triumph’s Chief Product Officer
“During phase 3 we have focused on building the physical foundation of Triumph’s first electric prototype motorcycle. I am pleased with the outcome of Triumph and the TE-1 partners’ efforts in creating a demonstrator bike that is not only visually so desirable with clear Triumph DNA, but also packaged with an exhilarating and thrilling brand-new electric powertrain that has such potential for the future.
“I look forward to continuing the development of this demonstrator vehicle through phase 4 and using our knowledge and capabilities to bring all of the partners’ cutting-edge technology together into a final result which will guide Triumph’s electric strategy for the future.
“Our experience tells us that at this stage of a project there is no substitute to genuinely riding a bike when developing driveability, handling and character, and we have ambitious targets focused on delivering a riding experience that is new and exciting, but ultimately intuitive and familiar. I am really looking forward to my first opportunity to ride the completed prototype.”
Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE)
Following completion of Phase 2 of the programme in March 2021, which delivered a fully bench tested battery, Williams Advanced Engineering have now concluded work on Phase 3 which contained some critical gateways for the project.
In addition to supporting a number of hardware and software solutions; specifically integrating Triumph’s motorcycle control software to work in harmony with WAE’s controller and battery management system, the team have enhanced the integration of the mechanical and electrical solutions; optimising battery layout to balance mass and positioning within the chassis.
The demonstrator bike is now undergoing final battery level validation and calibration to ensure the performance results meet best-in-class power and energy density targets and for the rider, ensuring there is no compromise in performance at low levels of charge.
Dyrr Ardash – Head of Strategic Partnerships – Williams Advanced Engineering
“Following an extended period of testing, we are thrilled to finally see the results of our work on a physical bike. By working with the team at Triumph, we have continued to push the boundaries of battery technology, keeping the rider in mind at all times. Because we have designed the battery from the ground-up, design has not been compromised and we have been able to push the boundaries of current technology, offering both performance and all important, range”.
Integral Powertrain Ltd.’s e-Drive Division
Andrew Cross – Chief Technical Officer at Integral Powertrain Ltd.
“We are absolutely delighted to complete our part in this project and deliver what we set out to achieve which is a scalable, ultra-highly integrated motor and inverter, with no phase cables, busbars, or separate cooling circuits.
“For the TE-1 application, the motor achieves peak and continuous power densities of 13 kW/kg and 9 kW/kg respectively which is 60% higher than new APC technology roadmap targets for 2025. All of this has been achieved using materials and processes compatible with volume automotive production and importantly using a length scalable motor platform.
“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! This gives us the opportunity to optimise this platform for production.
“The integrated motor and inverter unit is now on the bike and is delivering on the target performance and cycle efficiency we engineered, modelled and simulated to achieve. We’re very much looking forward the feedback from bike-level testing and the benefits of our high efficiency on range.
“We’re really proud to have been a key part of this exciting project which has been a landmark for electric motorcycles and British industry.”
WMG, University of Warwick
Truong Quang Dinh, Associate Professor of Energy System Management and Control at WMG, University of Warwick
“WMG have been working closely with Triumph to support the development of the motorcycle control unit via a comprehensive real-time evaluation process using two bespoke physical rigs.
“A 3D physical motorcycle model has been created and integrated with the first rig to allow the evaluation and refinement of the control unit under real-world driving scenarios, ensuring it behaves well before the integration into the initial prototype bike.
“The second rig has been utilised to support Triumph in evaluating the power and energy performance of the whole drivetrain as well as confirming its durability.
“We have also focused on control research and development at other levels, including advanced traction control and optimal brake blending strategies. The findings in energy system modelling, simulation and control, especially real-world case studies with electric motorcycles, gained through this TE-1 project have been utilised to develop teaching materials on energy systems, hybridisation and electrification technologies across education programmes at WMG.”
Jim Hooper, Principal Engineer of Electric Vehicle Projects at WMG, University of Warwick
“WMG have also been helping Triumph understand the opportunities and wider implications of electrification towards their business. This has included investigating the opportunities for electric two-wheeler charging networks, the need for domestic electric motorcycle recycling, the necessity to develop local battery supply chains and the direction that Triumph will need to take to ensure that they can design, develop, manufacture and distribute electric two-wheeled vehicles in the future.
“The findings from these studies are also providing direction to national and local governments, specifically around areas where policy intervention can support electric motorcycle adoption. In many studies undertaken by WMG, bespoke computer-based models developed at the university (such as the university’s own UniWarp software), have been instrumental in understanding the best possible direction or action required for different scenarios. This approach has enabled WMG to quantify the environmental impact of electric motorcycles and has defined methods by which this can be further improved through new vehicle features, vehicle system sizing or new external collaborations.”