In December 2019, THE PACK “Electric Motorcycles News” already published a story about this stunning zero emission motorbike concept which features a world-first in electric powertrains: a ‘hybrid’ battery.

Source: press release NAWATechnologies | Today, NAWATechnologies, AKKA Technologies, FAAR, Pronergy and YSY Group today announce that NAWATechnologies’ concept e-motorbike, the NAWARacer, will debut as a dynamic prototype in the coming months.

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Revealed at CES 2020, NAWARacer was initially designed as a demonstration project, illustrating how NAWATechnologies’ next-gen ultracapacitors, called NAWACap and reinforced composites solution NAWAStitch, can be applied to a real-world electric vehicle (EV) powertrain. Following a hugely successful global reception, the decision has been taken to develop a fully functioning, rideable prototype – and a highly experienced consortium assembled to bring it to life.

“We had such a fantastic response to our NAWARacer concept at CES 2020 that we had to take the next step and showcase what our NAWACap technology truly can do,” said Pascal Boulanger, Founder of NAWA Technologies, and CTO. “In order to develop a fully dynamic prototype, and best reflect our next-gen energy storage technology, a world-leading consortium has been brought together to design and build a fully functioning version.”

NawaRacer - NawaTechnologies - THE PACK - Electric Motorcycles News

The prototype will feature a world-first in electric powertrains: a ‘hybrid’ battery which combines NAWATechnologies’ own revolutionary ultracapacitors, NAWACap, with conventional lithium-ion cells. These are then merged in an innovative electrical architecture, enabling the best of both energy sources, opening up new possibilities for electric vehicle powertrains, with NAWACap playing an equivalent role to a turbocharger in an internal combustion engine.

Bringing a step-change in e-motorbike performance, this hybrid ultracapacitor battery system greatly improves energy efficiency, reduces charging times and extends entire system life. 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 – or a combination in between depending on final design.

For the initial design of the NAWARacer concept, NAWA Technologies was supported by expert design and engineering services provider Envisage Group – based in Coventry, UK. Envisage Group superbly translated designs and drawings made by Pascal Boulanger, NAWA’s founder and CTO, into beautiful and simple renderings and created a physical demonstrator for the CES show stand.

NawaRacer - NawaTechnologies - THE PACK - Electric Motorcycles News

Expert e-mobility consortium

To develop the first NAWARacer dynamic prototype, an expert development partnership has been assembled with skillsets across automotive engineering, R&D, battery management, electronics, powertrain, systems integration and prototype realisation – within the framework of the HYDEALIST project (Hybrid storage and fast-charging for AGV in logistics), funded by InnoEnergy (the European innovation platform for clean technologies).

The development of the motorbike’s unique e-powertrain and, in particular, the aluminum body – which structurally integrates the battery within the chassis, negating the need for a conventional frame – and the in-wheel motor, is led by AKKA Technologies, a global leader in engineering consultancy which supports the world’s leading automotive industry players. Based in 29 countries, AKKA’s mission is to optimize all the mechanical components and conceive an e-motorbike with very few moving parts; light, easy to fabricate and with a perfect riding experience.

AKKA’s team of experts will develop NAWARacer’s ride and handling characteristics, with particularly focus on the motorbike’s new rear arm design and advanced suspension system.

NawaRacer - NawaTechnologies - THE PACK - Electric Motorcycles News

The development of NAWARacer’s electronic power distribution system is led by Pronergy, a subsidiary of FAAR SAS located in Paris. This distributes power according to vehicle mode and rider demand. For this first dynamic prototype, a new switching unit has been developed allowing both NAWACap and the lithium batteries to provide energy, maximising the benefits of both technologies in terms of performance and efficiency.

FAAR heads up the development of NAWA Racer’s Battery Management System (BMS) software control ECU electronic architecture, bringing its embedded energy management expertise to the project, which is based on more than a decade of expertise in energy management systems.

NAWATechnologies, the inventor of the NAWARacer and its hybrid power-battery system, is supplying NAWACap – its next-generation ultracapacitors – integrated in a light, compact, modular and communicating pack that can be used in many other applications. Further expert assistance comes from YSY Group, based in Lille, France who complement NAWA in motorcycle testing. The dynamic prototype will be revealed and demonstrated on track just before summer 2021, depending on current Covid-19 restrictions.

Entirely modular and scale-able, NAWARacer’s hybrid battery system can be applicable to any electric vehicle, capable of reducing the size of the lithium-ion battery by up to half, or extending the range by up to double – or a combination in between depending on use. While NAWATechnologies has no plans to make or sell a production version of the NAWARacer, it is open to approaches from appropriate partners interested in taking this revolutionary e-motorbike to the streets.

About NAWARacer

Intended to turn heads as well as offer a ground-breaking electric powertrain, NAWARacer brings a modern twist to its retro styling. Its top tank area hides an arrangement of NAWA Technologies’ own ultracapacitors, which boost a lithium-ion battery mounted low in the chassis with an innovative Hybrid Management system (HMS), Energy Control Unit (ECU) and in-wheel electrical motor.

Re-using more than 80 percent of the energy captured from regenerative braking, NAWARacer uses a much smaller lithium-ion battery than would otherwise be possible: around half the size of a conventional electric sports bike’s battery.

The NAWACap pack itself is lightweight and is combined with the motorbike’s aluminum structural body, set to offer a 25 percent weight saving over conventional electric sports bikes. The hybrid storage pack powers a highly efficient in-wheel electrical motor, developing up to 40 kW. Although simplified for its first version, this lightweight, compact hybrid battery system results in exceptional range. Thanks to its lithium-ion battery, NAWA Racer is projected to cover 150km on a mixed cycle, including highways. But by capturing so much energy from stop-start riding, releasing it again as acceleration, NAWA Racer can double its urban range to 300km.

No matter the charge level of the lithium-ion battery, NAWA Racer will always have full acceleration on demand – projected to be 0-100km/h in under three seconds – because of the ultracapacitor’s high power characteristics, which continually maintain response and performance.

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Guy Salens

Guy Salens (motorcycle enthousiast): I want to show the world an overview of existing electric motorcycles and future projects. Because it's time.