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THE BACK PAGE


CAPACITOR POWERS ULTRA BIKE A


hit concept at last year’s Computer Electronics event is due to become a reality this summer in the shape of the NAWA Racer electric racing motorcycle. Setting itself apart from mainstream


electric powertrain technology, the new superbike will use next-generation ultracapacitors to bolster battery performance and add a new dimension to electric vehicle performance, range and durability. The so-called hybrid battery combines the


NAWACap ultracapacitors with conventional lithium-ion cells, which are merged in an innovative electrical architecture, enabling the best of both energy sources, opening up new possibilities for electric vehicle powertrains, with the capacitors playing an equivalent role to a turbocharger in an internal combustion engine. This combination greatly improves energy


efficiency, reduces charging times and extends the life of the entire system. Applicable to any electric vehicle, the efficiency improvements can reduce the size of the lithium-ion battery by up to half, or extend the range by up to double, depending on how it is configured. NAWA Technologies managed to bring last year’s concept to a working prototype stage in a short time with the help of consortium partners, including the use of services from Coventry-based Envisage


48 /// Testing & Test Houses /// June 2021


Hybrid power train uses capacitors to boost power for e-bike prototype


❱❱ The BRAWA Racer e-motorcycle uses Lithium-ion batteries with ultra-capacitors providing extra punch for superbike performance


Group, which translated the designs and drawings made by Pascal Boulanger, NAWA’s founder and CTO, into a physical demonstrator. The motorcycle’s unique e-powertrain is mounted in an aluminium body, which structurally integrates the battery within the chassis, negating the need for a conventional frame (just as the engine of a traditional motorcycle is used in similar fashion), and powers the in-wheel motor. The design mission was to optimise the mechanical components and conceive an e-motorbike with very few moving parts, which is light and easy to fabricate. The rear swinging arm design and advanced suspension system were specified to provide predictable ride and handling characteristics whilst providing the perfect riding experience, according to Boulanger. The electronic power distribution system provides an appropriate response to vehicle mode and rider demand, switching between the battery and the capacitor as required and giving flexibility in the way the motorcycle is ridden. The dynamic prototype will be revealed and demonstrated on track early this summer and although the company currently has no plans to sell a production version, it is working with a number of partners to bring the NAWA Racer onto the streets and the race track. T&TH


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