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Title: Evaluation of the commercial viability of electric and hybrid-electric powertrains for the motorcycle industry
Author: Hutchinson, Timothy W.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5917 3213
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
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The transport industries are under pressure to reduce emissions of toxic gases and lessen their dependence on non-renewable resources. The passenger car industry has experienced particular attention, with the combined influences of customers and regulators driving real change. Manufacturers have invested heavily in new power train technologies, with a large number of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles commercialised over the past few years. The motorcycle industry, however, has received far less attention and currently negligible electric and hybrid-electric motorcycle markets exist. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the viability of commercialising electric and hybrid-electric powertrains within the high-power motorcycle industry. The research is industrially focussed, specifically aimed at the motorcycle manufacturer Triumph Motorcycles and its established customer base. A clear research approach is adopted, with equal importance attributed to the technical system of the motorcycle power train and to the sociotechnical system in which it lies. Firstly, capabilities of relevant powertrain technologies and fundamental motorcycle design rules are evaluated. A target market is identified based on matching customer requirements to technology capabilities. Potential performance characteristics are then analysed for a broad range of electric and hybrid-electric powertrain architectures, in order to select those most suited to the target market. Finally, the commercial viability of the selected powertrain architectures are evaluated through in-depth performance analysis and conceptual motorcycle design. Powertrain packaging feasibility is explored and potential marketing strategies are discussed. Significant research findings are presented, wit h valuable insights for Triumph Motorcycles. The high-power motorcycle industry possesses very different requirements to t he passenger car industry. Therefore, a distinct strategy is necessary for the adoption of new powertrain technologies. Potentially viable hybrid-electric motorcycle concepts are identified, however the majority of electric and hybrid-electric powertrain architectures are not currently able to satisfy market requirements.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Eng.D) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available