Automotive engineering firm Mahle has joined forces with UK-based firm White Motorcycle Concepts (WMC) to develop a new electric three-wheeled police and emergency response vehicle.
Supported by the Department for Transport and Innovate UK, the new electric three-wheeler will be based on the Yamaha Tricity 300, which will swap its combustion engine for a fully electric powertrain that will offer a range of up to 100 miles.
The new EV will enable emergency services to comply with forthcoming legislation and achieve their net zero ambitions, according to the two firms.
The joint venture will build on WMC’s success with the WMC300FR hybrid three-wheeled motorcycle, which was developed in conjunction with Northamptonshire Police.
WMC says the new electric version will make use of the firm’s patented V-Duct, a venturi duct that passes air through the centre of the motorcycle that reduces drag, thus improving efficiency.
Mahle’s role in the project will be to determine the optimal powertrain specification requirements for the new machine.
The firm plans to analyse a number of components, including traction motors and charger systems, to create the best solution for the in-bound response vehicle.
“The hybrid three-wheeled bikes we now have in our fleet are providing an alternative, practical and very visible way for our neighbourhood police officers to get out and about in their communities,” said Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable and UK Police lead for Motorcycles, Nick Adderley.
“We need to continue to ensure we are prepared for the future with a sustainable fleet that not only meets the green agenda but also enables us to deliver the policing service our communities need and want.”
Recent testing by the Metropolitan Police has confirmed that the new response vehicle is suitable for high-speed work, and remains stable even when equipped with heavy panniers.
The project is set to conclude in March of this year, with a follow-up project to develop the prototype units planned. A small number of motorcycles will make series production.