Friday, October 24, 2008

KTM to manufacture electric Off-Road Motorcycle

Austrian firm to produce electric off-road motorcycle

VIENNA - Ensenada Mexico (BRN) — An Austrian motorcycle manufacturer said Tuesday that it hopes to start mass production of an electric-powered all-terrain endurance bike within two years.

KTM said it had produced a very quiet prototype that could develop up to 35 horsepower, weighed 90 kilos (200 pounds) and could run for 40 minutes before recharging. It was designed for off-road sporting use.

"Ever more restrictive rules on noise and pollution emissions make all-terrain activity ever more difficult in Europe," KTM said.

"So we want to make the practice of this sport easier near city centres and in sports halls," said company executive Harald Ploeckinger.

KTM is the world leader in sales of all-terrain motorbikes and Europe's second biggest motorbike constructor after Germany's BMW. It has a sales target of 95,000 machines for this year.

The company is based in Mattigofen in the west of Austria and in August unveiled a two-seater sports car with a 240 HP Audi engine.

The prototype of a race-ready Sport Enduro with electromotor, the result of a cooperative research project with arsenal research. KTM and the engineering experts at arsenal research illustrate that fun-riding and environmental sustainability are not mutually exclusive with the latest development of the zero emission motorcycle prototype. The light, sporty and powerful zero emission motorcycle complies with the KTM sport-oriented, racing philosophy while ensuring an emission and practically noise free bike with an electric motor. The development of the highly integrated motor was made possible through the expertise of arsenal research. The foundation stone for the bike was built through the commitment of KTM to stay innovative in the off-road motorcycle industry while also finding solutions that align the core business of KTM to important world-wide situations regarding topics such as "mobility," "environment" and "energy."

The KTM zero emission motorcycle embodies the typical KTM "Ready to Race" philosophy. The KTM zero emission motorcycle features the most modern construction characteristics and is fitted throughout with high quality vehicle components which have been a standard on KTM motorcycles since the beginning. Thanks to the intelligent control technology and the most up-to-date energy management, the 90 kg light prototype zero emission motorcycle has a performance that rivals a light Enduro with a combustion engine. Apart from the very low weight, it is the engine’s significantly spontaneous development of torque that is responsible for the distinct dynamic of the zero emission motorcycle. The zero emission motorcycle completely does away with familiar motorcycle components such as exhaust, tank, air box or clutch. Following promising tests and the numerous insights that resulted from the cooperation with arsenal research, the decision was made to make the transition from a pure research project to a development project for a series machine.

KTM places the highest priority on the introduction of a sustainable emission-free electro motorcycle and will continue to intensify its development partnership with arsenal research. At this time, no statement has been released as to when the motorcycle will be brought into production. DI Harald Plöckinger, Board Member of KTM Power Sports AG"As an innovative and market leading company, KTM must also take up the task of testing out and developing new engine formats for our sports motorcycles. The concept of the zero emission motorcycle combines the well known KTM competence with new and highly interesting motor technology. With an emission free motorcycle we see a big opportunity to make Enduro sport available to a broader and completely new target group in the medium and long term by giving them access to a completely new sporting trend.

The KTM Zero Emission Motorcycle will allow for riding in more areas, even densely populated areas, without coming into conflict with existing restrictions. Testing with the first prototype already reveals the big potential of this cooperative development project with arsenal research." DI Franz Pirker, Monitoring, Energy and Engine Technology, arsenal research"Alternative vehicle concepts demand new research efforts and an appropriately developed research structure. The use of the latest battery technology, the integration of a highly efficient electric motor as well as the introduction of the drive components in a highly integrated drive system forms the basis of the realization of the motorcycle concept. By the direct linking of a hardware prototype in the virtual simulation environment, real drive cycles can often be arbitrarily completed without having to build components into the test vehicle. This so-called Hardware-in-the-loop simulation makes an extremely time- and cost efficient development possible during which the motor, energy storage and power electronics can be optimized as well as being able to match the drive strategies and energy management without much expenditure in this phase."

Dr. Andreas Dorda, Federal Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology"For the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT), the development of alternative drive systems is, from a transport and environmental policy perspective as well as that of business location and industry policy, central in securing the competitiveness of the Austrian automobile industry through the promotion of research and in lowering the emission of pollutants, noise and greenhouse gases through innovative technical development. "As the technological trend in vehicle technology is clearly going in the direction of electrification of engines, the development of the KTM Zero-Emission Motorcycle by KTM and arsenal research with support from the BMVIT in the A3-Technology program is an important showcase project for Austrian engineering competence, with promising perspectives for introduction onto the market both in terms of strategy and industrial policy."

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