Nawa Technologies unveils hybrid battery-powered electric motorbike concept
Nawa Technologies announced the Nawa Racer, a zero-emission motorbike concept which features what the company says is a world-first in electric powertrains: a "hybrid" battery.
Appearing at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Jan. 7, 2020, Nawa Racer combines what the company describes as Nawa Technologies’ revolutionary ultracapacitors—which offer 10x more power and five times more energy than existing tech—with conventional lithium-ion cells.
The company claims that it is the first time an electric motorbike has used ultracapacitors, and that the hybrid system offers ultra-fast charging, rapid energy recovery and high-power output, and a long continuous range.
Inspired by the original café racers of London in the 1960s, which were lightweight, powerful bikes used for short, quick rides between cafés, the Nawa Racer intends to build on these themes.
Next-gen ultracapacitors: the key to unlocking a hybrid battery
The basis of Nawa Racer’s advantage is the company’s carbon-based ultracapacitors, which reportedly charge and discharge in seconds and are capable of picking up energy from regenerative braking and supplying it back to an electric motor very quickly. The company says they can do this millions of times over without degradation to offer an energy transfer superior to lithium-ion. But although they have 5x more energy storage than existing technology, lithium-ion does still offer greater overall capacity.
By integrating these ultracapacitors into a lithium-ion system, the result is a battery that reportedly has much more efficient overall performance, greatly reducing the charge and discharge cycles the lithium-ion battery performs, extending the life of the entire system.
Regardless of electric vehicle, from motorbike to car, the efficiency improvements made by a hybrid ultracapacitor battery system 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 use. This is especially the case where there is a lot of braking and accelerating, such as in an urban area.
Energy efficient and lightweight
Located in the bike’s top tank area is an arrangement of Nawa Technologies’ own ultracapacitors, known as NawaCap and offering 0.1 kWh, which boost a lithium-ion battery mounted low in the chassis where the internal combustion engine would otherwise be.
The company says that by reusing more than 80% of the energy captured from regenerative braking—lithium-ion can only reuse 30%—NawaCap allows the Nawa Racer to use a much smaller lithium-ion battery than would otherwise be possible: 9 kWh, around half the size of a conventional electric sports bike’s battery.
The NawaCap pack itself weighs as little as a reported 10kg, and combined with the bike’s carbon fiber frame and composite body panels, Nawa Racer weighs 150kg, a weight saving of 25% over conventional electric sports bikes.
The Nawa Racer can reportedly cover 150 km on a mixed cycle, including highways. By capturing energy from stop-start riding and releasing it again as acceleration, the Nawa Racer can reportedly double its range in an urban area, covering 300km between charges. The NawaCap pack claims to recharge in two minutes and the entire battery can be charged to 80% in one hour from a home supply.
“Electric vehicles are still limited by the energy their batteries can store and the time it takes to recharge them. A promising solution is to combine lithium-ion with ultracapacitors—but until now they have not had enough energy, been too expensive and lacked the power capabilities to easily integrate them within a hybrid battery system. Nawa Technologies’ ultracapacitors offer the complete solution, the lowest internal resistance—allowing DC/DC converter-less integration—and lower cost. Taking performance, range, efficiency, weight, and charging time to new heights, this system is also more environmentally friendly. Our ultracapacitors are based on carbon, which is naturally occurring and abundant, so our hybrid packs also reduce the need for lithium mining,” said Pascal Boulanger, Founder, Chairman of the board, CTO and COO of Nawa Technologies.
Designed for exhilarating performance—at all times
As standard, the hubless rim motor produces 100 PS, propelling the Nawa Racer from rest to 100 km/h in reportedly under three seconds, onto a top speed in excess of 160 km/h. The company says that, this acceleration will always be available because of the ultracapacitor’s high power characteristics no matter the charge level of the lithium-ion battery.
Nawa Racer’s NawaCap pack can also be removed and swapped for different levels of performance, allowing riders to tune the bike’s characteristics. Nawa Racer also features a "Race" mode, which gives a boost of ultracapacitor power. It also features an "Eco" mode, where energy recovery is further maximized.
Nawa Technologies wanted the Nawa Racer to bring a modern twist to its retro looks with simple, smooth lightweight composite panels, painted aluminum and copper, based on a strong, stiff but light carbon-fiber frame. Details such as LED lighting for the headlight and taillight, anodized matte-black suspension forks, nubuck leather saddle in vintage camel, and a hub-less rim motor complete the look.
For the project, Nawa Technologies has been supported by design and engineering services provider Envisage Group, who has worked with Nawa Technologies to develop the design of Nawa Racer.
Although simply a vision of an electric motorbike of the future for now, Nawa Technologies says the Nawa Racer’s hybrid battery system can be applied to all forms of electric vehicle and the technology could go into production in the very near future. At CES, Nawa Technologies is located at Eureka Park, Stand G, Booth 50463, the same stand as the CEA
“The Nawa Racer is our vision for the electric motorbike of tomorrow—a retro-inspired machine, but one that is thoroughly modern. It is lightweight, fast and fun, perfect for an emission-free city commute that will put a smile on your face. But it also lays down a blueprint for the future. Nawa Technologies’ next-gen ultracapacitors have unleashed the potential of the hybrid battery system—and this design of powertrain is fully scalable. There is no reason why this cannot be applied to a larger motorbike, or car or other electric vehicle. And what is more, this technology could go into production in the very near future,” said Ulrik Grape, CEO of Nawa Technologies.
For more information on Nawa Technologies visit: www.nawatechnologies.com.