MAHLE and WMC develop fully-electric motorbike

MAHLE Powertrain has worked with White Motorcycle Concepts to develop a fully electric three-wheeled motorcycle for emergency services and last mile deliveries.

The bike development is supported by a grant from the NIche Vehicle Network and the Department for Transport and Innovate UK. It will see the adaption of an ICE Yamaha Tricity 300 with a fully-electric powertrain and fast-charging capability. The vehicle, which will have a targeted 100 mile operating range, will enable emergency services to comply with forthcoming legislation and achieve their net-zero ambitions without sacrificing service levels, it said.

The project follows the WMC300FR hybrid three-wheeled motorcycle developed with Northamptonshire Police and trialled by emergency services. Both bikes use the firm’s V-Duct, which reduces drag and improves efficiency and forms the basis of the firm’s electric land speed record programme.

MAHLE Powertrain will use their simulation expertise to determine the optimal powertrain specification for the requirements. By using real-world data in a modelled virtual environment, it will investigate a number of components such as traction motors and charger systems to arrive at the best possible configuration. Different batteries will also be considered.

Sustainability will be achieved in production through a recycled carbon-fibre body and downsized battery packs with fast charging that reduce the use of rare earth materials.

Jonathan Hall, MAHLE Powertrain’s Head of Research and Advanced Engineering, said: “Existing electric motorcycles have been designed with the retail market in mind, and can be both expensive and slow to charge. Because emergency services require high levels of availability and have an unpredictable demand, retail electric motorcycles are unlikely to present a cost-effective solution.” 

Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable and UK Police lead for Motorcycles, Nick Adderley, said: “The hybrid three-wheeled bikes we now have in our fleet are providing an alternative, practical and very visible way for our neighbourhood police officers to get out and about in their communities. We need to continue to ensure we are prepared for the future with a sustainable fleet that not only meets the green agenda but also enables us to deliver the policing service our communities need and want. Our close involvement in these developments ensures the operational vehicle meets our specific requirements and I look forward to seeing the output from this study.”

Image courtesy of MAHLE Powertrain

Sign up for our essential
newsletter service.

Enter your details here.