The development prototype given the name 'TE-1' has now officially completed. The project was set up by Triumph and three other partners (Williams, Integral Powertrain, University of Warwick) to provide information for the future development of electric Triumph motorcycles - the results are impressive.
Bearing in mind that this is just a prototype, but that it is a sports-focussed machine, the claimed 100 miles range is significant. It means that with a bit more development it could easily be improved to match the typical 120 miles of a lot of sports machines. Whether the range will manage to be increased any more is technology limited - but there are exciting developments in battery technology that are about to come to market so we don't see why not. A 20 minute 80% charge time is also impressive - just enough time for a coffee and a smoke before setting off again - but that will need to be improved.
The peak power is given as 175bhp with a weight of 220kg. That's light for an electric motorcycle and gives a power to weight ratio of 0.8. The claim is that the performance is on par with a Speed Triple 1200 and delivers a faster 0-100mph with a peak torque of 109Nm (80 ft-lbs). However the Speed Triple 1200 has 177bhp with a weight of only 198kg and has 125Nm torque so has a significant advantage there. However, you do have to realise that this is peak power and for the Speed Triple that is only reached at 10,750 rpm and it will be significantly lower at lower revs whereas the TE-1 will have a much flatter power band reaching peak power a lot sooner - hence why it can out-accelerate the Speed Triple up to 60mph. Above 60mph the Speed Triple's higher torque will have it catching up and pulling ahead.
The sound track is pretty good for an electric machine too.
You do have to bear in mind that this is just a prototype, a development testbed to prove the technology and discover what is needed to produce a successful electric motorcycle. This isn't going on sale as it is and we expect a lot of further development to be done before you see an electric range. The point here is that if you can produce an electric motorcycle that rivals the Speed Triple then you can definitely produce lower-powered machines (like the Classic range and Street Triples are) with a subsequently longer range. What the future electric Triumphs will look like, though, is anyone's guess.
You may not like the idea of electric Triumphs but they are already here and with all other manufacturers developing their own electric motorcycles, if Triumph doesn't have an offering in that area then they will lose out. Have a look at the video on the Triumph website and find out for yourself.