Niche Vehicle Network

Project Overview

ZEM (Zero Emission Motorcycle) is a project to investigate the feasibility of replacing the conventional ICE drivetrain in a motorcycle with a zero-emission equivalent whilst retaining riding characteristics and desirability close to or better than existing products.  This is made more challenging for niche vehicle manufacturers without the sales volumes to warrant development of a fully bespoke driveline.  This feasibility study investigates the options and routes using available components in an innovative way and identifying where further R&D must be directed to develop any necessary new driveline technology and componentry to create a fully integrated system.

Feasibility Study

This study has demonstrated that a high performance, niche motorcycle with a zero emissions drivetrain is feasible for a small manufacturer to develop albeit at a higher cost than an ICE version.  This is important to the niche PLV sector as it allows continuation of production up to and post 2035.

Project Outcomes

The project achieved is stated aim, and in the process generated a set of target performance criteria, a 3D CAD concept design and a set of simulation tools for use in further development including a validated CFD model.  Additionally, drivetrain and energy storage components were researched and assessed enabling a costed outline BoM to be generated allowing potential markets to be identified and commercial decisions to be made.

Next Steps

The key next step in this project is for the design to progress to the Proof-of-Concept phase to produce a functional demonstrator vehicle.  To carry this out, external funding will be sought, including further funding from the NVN.  In the meantime, Ariel will continue to develop the commercial and technical aspects carried out in this project.

NVN Funding

The NVN funding for this project has been essential to allow the research and development tasks to be carried out.  Without this funding, the risks and financial impact on small, low volume manufacturers would be too high to be able to be carried out.

Ariel’s experience working with the NVN on this project has been very positive with their support, guidance and introductions to other suppliers through the networking events as well as the financial support.