Team to develop an intelligent new high performance electric motorcycle

Jun 26, 2014
The "intelligence" of Bultaco's new electric motorcycle is being developed on the south side of Madrid, in Science Park of the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M), where the company has established its R + D center to work on new products and more innovative technology. Credit: uc3m

The 'intelligence' of Bultaco's new electric motorcycle is being developed on the south side of Madrid, in Science Park of the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid, where the company has established its R + D center to work on new products and more innovative technology.

The Bultaco Rapitán is not just an , but it is also a real motorcycle. That is how it is presented by the engineers who have designed it and equipped it with cutting-edge technology. This vehicle, which is equipped with its own system, generates the equivalent of 54HP and can reach a speed of 145 km/h. All of this with an autonomy of up to 200 km in city driving, thanks to its energy recovery system. "This is an intelligent motorcycle because both its mechanical system and its electrical system are completely integrated, and because it is capable of communicating not just with its surroundings but also with the rider," indicates Yolanda Colás, of the engineering team at Bultaco Motors SA. In fact, they have developed a professorship with the UC3M department of Electronics Technology to implement this system, which allows for communication between the motorcycle, its rider, and a mobile application, so that "we receive data from our surroundings and we can ride the bike more efficiently," explains Colás.

The software of the control unit (BCU, Bultaco Control Unit) allows the rider to control the power of the motor, the recovery of energy, the recharging of the battery and the connection with mobile devices. By means of the Biker Manager application, created by Bultaco, this type of device will allow the user to access data regarding the level of battery charge, the autonomy based on the type of driving, or the location of the motorcycle, among many other types of data.

Unlike other two-wheel electric vehicles, the Bultaco Electric Drive Train System (BEDT) allows the maximum energy to be obtained from the regenerative braking. This is possible because the technology applied to the chassis (Dual Link Evolution) maximizes the adherence of the rear wheel when braking, which allows a considerable application of parallel electric braking, according to its creators. The energy accumulation system, which combines a lithium ion battery and ultracondensors, is another of the elements that assure a performance that is greatly superior to other similar vehicles. "A lot of care has been taken with the management of energy, both in what is going to be used and in what is going to be lost in many normal situations with a vehicle, and which we try to recover," points out another member of the engineering team, Adrián Martín.

This new stage in the brand is based on the value of innovation. "Our R+D center is located in UC3M's Science Park, where we are going to develop and new technologies based on these first prototypes that we've presented, and where we've already manufactured the first prototypes of each unit," explains the one of the company's founders and its head of prototypes, Raúl Pérez. "The most remarkable thing about the motorcycle is its technology, which would be impossible to obtain without R+D," he concludes.

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In early 2015, Bultaco will have an electric Light Bike on the market, and they will develop several versions of it. Sometime in the middle of the same year, the Urbanmotard Eléctrica will be launched; the Rapitán prototype presented in London this past May 17 offered a preview of this bike. Despite all of this activity, the engineering team at Bultaco is also working on yet another type of vehicle using the technology demonstrated in this prototype, as well as on other future developments. "Electric propulsion is adequate for anyone who is looking for performance features that are both outstanding and fun. We are working on other solutions, such as hybrid propulsion, to answer other needs, " comments the director of R+D and cofounder, José Germán Pérez.

At the UC3M Science Park, they believe that innovation at Bultaco Motors is good news for the Spanish system of science, and innovation, because it is a case of technological innovation for society that foments reindustrialization, and generates jobs and sustainable economic development while improving the environment and quality of life. In the Business Incubator located there, they have supported this project from the beginning; now it has become a business of the future, which is still connected to the Science Park through its new R+D Center.

Explore further: Harley-Davidson introduces electric motorcycle (Update)

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