The CENEX Low Carbon Vehicle (LCV) held at UTAC, Millbrook in September, is an essential showcase for low carbon vehicle innovations. The event having had to take a break for 2020 due to the pandemic, was back last year with some incredible advances in low carbon vehicle technology on display.
One of the innovations being showcased at the event last year, was the remarkable White Motorcycle Concepts WMC250EV, designed to be the fastest electric motorcycle in the world.
White Motorcycle Concepts proven & patented technologies have seen them secure a share of £2.5M of Niche Vehicle Network funding to assist with the development of their electric & hybrid motorcycles. The Niche Vehicle Network is funded by The Office for Low Emission Vehicles, Innovate UK, The Advanced Propulsion Centre & BEIS. The funding focuses on enabling UK based design & engineering companies or low volume vehicle manufacturers to research & develop innovative low carbon vehicle technologies.
The WMC250EV stance has minor overtones of the Tron concept from the 1982 film of the same name. But this is where the similarities end & when I stood in front of the motorcycle at LCV 2021, I soon realised why this machine was so very unique.
The WMC250EV has a duct which runs the entire length of the machine & is part of the revolutionary aerodynamic concept developed by White Motorcycle Concepts. The Venturi Duct or V-Duct technology, a new electrical installation which allows two wheel drive for motorcycle regenerative energy & five times more load on the front axle; means the WMC250EV is drag co-efficient at 0.118 CDA.
The WMC250EV will achieve twice the mileage for the same electric charge than the current electric motorcycle market equivalent. With range limitations being the main concern of electric vehicle ownership, the WMC250EV solves a major problem. The benefits for both speed & efficiency of energy use have serious potential to disrupt the market. (1)
The WMC250EV being the first White Motorcycle Concepts has been built & designed to not only create a blueprint for future developments, but also as a contender for the Motorcycle Electric Semi Streamliner World Record.
In 2021 the WMC250EV had already been running at around 170mph, with the eventual target to take the world record to 250mph or beyond. The current record is still held by ex-GP World Super Bike star Max Biaggi on the Voxan Wattman at 228.05mph.
Alongside the developments surrounding the WMC250EV, White Motorcycle Concepts have also launched their prototype Hybrid First Responder vehicle the WMC300FR.
The WMC300FR is currently being developed to be used by the Police Force, with the FR in the product name standing for ‘First Responder’
Northamptonshire police, the local force for Brixworth-based White Motorcycle Concepts, has been involved with the machine’s development since an early stage to help ensure it meets their requirements. The force’s Chief Constable Nick Adderley is the National Police Chief Council Lead for Motorcycling & has been helping guide the project. (2)
The ICE used in the WMC300FR is the same 28hp, 292cc single cylinder which is used in the standard Yamaha Tricity 300. However, in the case of the WMC300FR, the ICE is backed up by a 5kW electric motor & two 56V, 12Ah, removable lithium-ion batteries, turning it into a plug-in hybrid.
The biggest innovation to the WMC300FR is the bike’s central air duct, which uses the same V-Duct technology as the WMC250EV. The V-Duct starts in the gap between the front wheels – covered in aerodynamic fairings – & runs the length of the bike (like the WMC250EV) & exits just above the rear wheel.
To fit the duct, the fuel tank has been repositioned to the top box which sits where the pillion seat would normally be on a Yamaha Tricity. The hybrid system’s batteries are then mounted above that. Panniers provide space for the required police equipment, and the licence plate and indicators are moved upwards to clear the duct’s exit. (2)
The patented V-Duct, dramatically improves the aerodynamic efficiency of the motorcycle & when combined with the power assist hybrid motor reduces the CO2 produced by up to 50%. (3)
The WMC300FR incorporates EGO detachable batteries which can be charged on a standard three pin plug. This means that there is no requirement for additional infrastructure & waiting around while the vehicle charges.
The WMC300FR therefore is perfectly suited for urban & rural settings providing a low cost (purchase & running costs (104mpg)) alternative to community vehicles whilst reducing the CO2. (3)
The technology speaks for itself & although the WMC300FR is only in the prototype phase, the possibilities for the motorcycle industry are encouraging as we are all seeking ways to reduce CO2 emissions through our transport networks.
Written & cited by Katy-jane Mason for & on behalf of Dolphin N