Triumph inks deal with Williams F1 to develop electric motorcycles

Triumph has announced a deal that sees the motorcycle manufacturer working on a development plan for electric motorcycles.

The two-year deal sees Triumph teaming up with Williams Advanced Engineering  (an offshoot of the Williams F1 car racing team), Integral Powertrain Ltd. and the University of Warwick. What exactly will the project accomplish? It’s pretty vague at the moment, but the Williams F1 site says it will “develop specialist electric motorcycle technology and innovative integrated solutions,” in order to “provide significant input into potential future electric motorcycle offers from Triumph.”

Nowhere in there does it say to expect a new Triumph battery bike at any time, and certainly not at the end of the two-year project.

Instead, what’s expected is a focus on “facilitating” the creation of electric motorcycle capability “that meets the needs of customers seeking lower environmental impact transportation, delivering against the UK’s focus on reducing emissions.” In other words, don’t expect anything built anytime soon as a result of this project.

The project also intends to develop partnerships inside UK industry, building up supply chains for electric motorcycles. There’s also a plan to build expertise and capability in the UK workforce, helping workers learn the skills needed to build battery bikes and creating “sustainable employment.”

The website does lay out the responsibilities of all the partners in this project. Triumph is the lead, and will work on chassis design, manufacturing processes, design safety systems, and determine the the power delivery characteristics for the electric drivetrain.

Williams Advanced Engineering is tasked with lightweight battery design.

Integral Powertrain Ltd. is setting its e-Drive Division to develop “bespoke power-dense electric motors” for electric motorcycles, as well as a silicon carbide inverter which will be integrated into a single motor housing (the modern-day counterpart to unit construction?).

The University of Warwick is expected to provide “electrification expertise,” whatever that means, and “the critical vision to drive innovation from R&D to commercial impact, through modelling and simulation based on future market needs.” Sounds like they’re putting some researchers on the project, to think about the long-term needs and realities of the EV sector.

As you might expect, this is all happening with public money behind the project, provided through Innovate UK.

One thought on “Triumph inks deal with Williams F1 to develop electric motorcycles”

  1. I think we can interpret this as Triumph has decided the time is right to take the first steps in developing electric motorcycles. I wouldn’t expect to see an electric bike in two years but nonetheless – it is a significant announcement. I would expect to see a bike in 3 or 4 years. And given the talent commited to this project I expect it will be a ripper.

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