The British motorcycle company Triumph has a new program for producing an electric bike. It’s calling the research and development plan TE-1 and says that we can expect a powertrain in about two years, presumably with a production bike to follow.
Rumours had been building that Triumph would be the next of the major motorcycle manufacturers to go electric, following Harley-Davidson’s push with its LiveWire model, Buell’s shift into an electric mobility company, and Ducati’s confirmation that it’s working on one as well. However, Triumph clearly isn’t forsaking internal combustion—it just announced that it’s building what will be the largest production motorcycle engine.
To develop this electric model, Triumph is working with outside engineering companies including Williams Advanced Engineering, which will develop batteries, and Integral Powertrain, which will handle the motor. The University of Warwick will handle extended research. Triumph will control the final design.
Motorcycle companies are building electric bikes to appeal to the same demand driving Audi, Chevrolet, Hyundai, and other auto companies. For years, electric bikes were built by electric-only companies like Zero, which remains the most proven company for non-gasoline motorcycles.
But the industry change is also motivated by a larger decline—the reversal of which will require new riders—and inclusion in a transportation infrastructure that seems to be pushing toward shared vehicle ownership and driver assistance.
I’m a Triumph owner (a 2012 Street Triple R), and an overall fan of the brand’s products. Like Ducati, Triumph is a company that understands the elements that make an exceptional bike, from ergonomics to engine design.
I’m so eager to see what it comes up with. Competition from other brands will, hopefully, produce something incredible.
Originally published on Popular Mechanics