Lightning-Fast Electric Bike Features Radical Aerodynamic Tech
While most of the media headlines around electric vehicles tend to focus on passenger cars, other sectors have embraced the technology too, and there is some pretty advanced work going on in the motorcycle sector.
Case in point is this prototype bike from British engineering company White Motorcycle Concepts (WMC).
Called the WMC250EV, the prototype has been built with the intention of propelling the company’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Rob White to British and world electric land speed records. However, its unusual design could have a dramatic impact on the efficiency of future electric road bikes.
WMC says the prototype is capable of speeds exceeding 400km/h, thanks in part to an ultra-low drag system called V-Air. This innovation features a large duct at the centre of the bike which forces air through the vehicle, rather than around it.
The company claims this V-Air system reduces the WMC250EV’s aerodynamic resistance by as much as 70 per cent compared to that of the market-leading high-performance road bike.
The unique bike design also increases the axial load on the front of the motorcycle allowing the WMC250EV to use a D-Drive motor unit – consisting of two 20kW motors – that powers the front wheel. There are two 30kW motors at the back wheel too for a total power output of 100kW. Energy comes via a 15kW lithium-ion battery,
While the WMC250EV is clearly quick, the company says that the concept’s greatest impact could be on a vehicle’s energy efficiency.
“The records are all champagne, but are actually the insignificant part of the story,” said Rob White in a statement. “While this technology allows you to go faster, it also allows you to go much further for the same amount of energy. This has a direct and tangible benefit on C02 reduction. Market-disruptive ideas like this are uncommon, and if successful, have the potential to revolutionise industry.”
WMC says it is already working on real-world new technology and is producing a 300cc three-wheel hybrid scooter – the WMC300FR – that includes V-Air and reduces drag by 25 per cent. That equates, the company says, to 18 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency from aerodynamic improvements alone and when coupled with a small hybrid system enhances the performance to near 500cc levels, but with 50 per cent less CO2 emissions.
15 July 2021