Toward the end of March, 2021, Triumph first pulled the covers off its Project TE-1 electric powertrain prototype. It’s now February, 2022, and nearly a full year later—and those drawings are now a real, actual motorbike. That’s right—the Project TE-1 prototype demonstrator is officially a working electric motorcycle.
Phase 3 of Triumph’s Project TE-1 was the collaborative stage, which incorporated Triumph’s cooperation with Williams Advanced Engineering, Integral Powertrain Limited, and Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at the University of Warwick. The WMG also received funding from Innovate UK’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles.
To get to this point, each member of the team had specific areas of expertise that they brought to Project TE-1. Triumph was responsible for the chassis, final drive system (including transmission and Gates Carbon belt drive), electronics, Öhlins suspension including prototype RSU, Brembo M50 monobloc calipers, and Triumph motorcycle control software.
Williams Advanced Engineering took care of the battery pack, cooling, vehicle control unit, and styled carbon covers. Integral Powertrain’s task is pretty well delineated in the company name, and also includes the integrated cooling necessary. All of this couldn’t have happened without the contributions of WMG, which was responsible for the final pre-live trial simulation once all the other parts were in place. These tests showed that the project is on track according to the team’s intended timeline, including its expected performance and durability.
Impressively, according to Triumph, its test results exceed the UK Automotive Council’s 2025 benchmarks and targets, which means the project is ahead of the curve in terms of development. This, in turn, bodes well for future Triumph electric motorbike development.
With the collaboration phase now complete, it’s on to Phase 4 of Project TE-1. That’s the live-testing phase, which should commence for about the next six months in Triumph’s own testing facilities. A combination of rolling road and track testing will be involved, leading Triumph to tweak the performance and handling characteristics of every aspect of the prototype.
Currently, Triumph expects to complete Phase 4 of the project sometime in Summer, 2022. Once that’s complete, the prototype will get its final body panels and paint scheme before going on to active track demonstration, as well as a release of the final project specs, test results, and all the interesting things Triumph learned along the way.
“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,” Triumph chief product officer Steve Sargent said in a statement.
“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,” he continued.
“Our experience tells us that at this stage of a project there is no substitute to genuinely riding a bike when developing drivability, 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,” Sargent concluded.