Following the development and deployment of a hybrid three-wheel “big-hole” scooter for police and emergency services, a UK-based R&D team White Motorcycle Concepts has teamed up with Mahle Powertrain to produce an all-electric version.
Like the hybrid WMC300FR which has been developed in conjunction with Northamptonshire Police, the upcoming electric scooter will be based on a Yamaha Tricity 300 tilting three-wheeler and will feature a central air duct design inspired by motorcycle drag reduction technology from electric land speed from White Motorcycle Concepts, the WMC250EV.
This means a gaping hole – or V-Duct – running through the middle of the electric scooter to reduce drag as it glides. While the aim of the record attempt is to increase top speed, the idea with this iteration is to achieve more range per charge, with project engineers aiming for at least 160km. And the plan is to include fast charging capabilities too, so the ride is ready to roll as quickly as possible.
Finding the best electric drivetrain for the tilting three-wheeler will be the job of Mahle Powertrain technicians, who will analyze real-world data in a virtual environment to select the optimal combination of components and technologies for that specific use case. So why not just adapt an e-scoot or e-motorcycle already in production?
“Existing electric motorcycles were designed with the retail market in mind and can be both expensive and slow to charge,” said Jonathan Hall, head of research and advanced engineering at Mahle. “Because emergency services require high levels of availability and have unpredictable demand, retail electric motorcycles are unlikely to present a cost-effective solution.”
Various battery, charging and motor options will be examined, along with how best to fit them into the modified Tricity 300 chassis. It’s early days, but the collaboration has confirmed that recycled carbon fiber will be used in the construction of the e-scoot, the goal is to use a “downsized battery pack” to reduce the need for rare-earth minerals, and the traction motor and transmission that passes the selection process will be installed in a new rear swingarm.
That’s about all White Motorcycle Concepts and Mahle Powertrain have shared so far, but we know the feasibility part of the process is due to wrap up next month, after which the project will move into prototyping and possibly production in limited series.
The WMC300FR hybrid scooter fleet has already enabled Northamptonshire officers to become more visible in communities across the region, and the all-electric version is expected to enjoy similar success. Riders won’t need any special training or additional permits, and the Metropolitan Police have advised that it’s suitable for high-speed work, even with fully loaded panniers.
The “big-hole” tilting e-scoot is not only being developed for police officers and emergency first responders, it could also be used in inner-city parcel delivery operations. The project is funded by the Niche Vehicle Network, with support from the Department for Transport and Innovate UK.
Source: White Motorcycle Concepts