A prototype electric motorcycle designed to reduce drag by up to 70 per cent is being primed for attempts at land speed records.
The WMC250EV high-speed demonstrator was conceived by Rob White, company founder and CEO of Northants-based White Motorcycle Concepts.
The prototype motorcycle features V-Air, an ultra-low drag system that includes a large duct at the centre of the bike which forces air through the vehicle. In wind tunnel tests at MIRA, V-Air reduced WMC250EV’s aerodynamic resistance by as much as 70 per cent compared to a market-leading high performance road bike.
The duct is said also to increase the axial load on the front of the motorcycle allowing the WMC250EV utilise a D-Drive motor unit that powers the front wheel, which in-turn makes it possible to harness regenerative braking energy. Finally, the bike carries an F-Drive final drive system fitted to boost power and enhance efficiency; a technology that could be retrofitted to improve existing roadgoing bikes.
The prototype electric motorcycle is claimed to be capable of speeds exceeding 250mph and an attempt on the Motorcycle Electric Semi Streamliner British Record is planned for later this year. The focus will then switch to the Salar de Uyuni salt flat in Bolivia where White will attempt to set a new mark for the Electric Semi Streamliner World Record in July 2022.
“If you want to demonstrate to the rest of the world that you’ve just invented a new aerodynamic concept that means you can go faster for a given power, the best thing to do is go as fast you can,” White said in a statement. “That’s why we created WMC250EV high-speed demonstrator, the most radical version of this concept, to challenge for the world land speed record. It is electric, as that is the pre-eminent zero emissions power source at the moment, but as the aerodynamic concept provides efficiency benefit, it could just as easily be hydrogen or any other future power source.”
The company believes the concept’s more wide-reaching implication is the impact it can have on vehicular energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions.
“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,” White said. “Market-disruptive ideas like this are uncommon, and if successful, have the potential to revolutionise industry.”
WMC is working also on a real-world application for the innovation in the form of 300cc three-wheel hybrid scooter – the WMC300FR – that includes V-Air technology and reduces drag by 25 per cent. The company claims that this equates to an 18 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency from aerodynamic improvements alone. The company further claims that when coupled with a small hybrid system the performance is somewhere near 500cc levels, but with 50 per cent less CO2 emissions.
“What we’ve managed to do is create something for the world market sector where people can use these vehicles in a city where the population is most effected by C02 output and pollution – and we’ve managed to cut C02 by 50 per cent through aerodynamics and hybridisation.”
WMC’s concept has been granted a UK patent with Europe, the USA and Japan expected by the end of August.
Full specs for the WMC250EV can be found here.