Hybrid Battery ‘Cafe Racer’ Concept at CES

A battery specialist will showcase its hybrid battery system by presenting a modern vision of the cafe racer motorcycles of the 1960s.

The Nawa Racer concept will be the company’s star unveil at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 and hopes to show the advantages of hybrid battery systems marrying carbon-based ultracapacitors to existing lithium-ion battery technology. The concept’s design draws on the classic cafe racers so named by bikers who would time their runs on a set course beginning and ending at the chosen cafe.

The manufacturer claims its ultracapacitors offer ten times more power and five times more energy than existing technology. It says the hybrid system offers the best of both worlds with ultra-fast charging, high energy recovery and power output from ultracapacitors along with long continuous range thanks to better lithium-ion management.

It claims ultracapacitors can discharge and recharge millions of times over without degradation, offering very fast energy transfer, unlike lithium-ion although lithium-ion does still offers greater overall capacity. So a hybrid battery system featuring both should result in more efficient overall performance, reduced charge and discharge cycles while extending the life of the whole system.

The Racer concept’s system employs a bank of ultracapacitors located in the bike’s ‘fuel’ tank offering 0.1 kWh, which boost a lithium-ion battery mounted low in the chassis where the internal combustion engine would otherwise be. Re-using more than 80% of the energy captured from regenerative braking, while lithium-ion can only re-use 30%, this system is able to use a much smaller lithium-ion battery than would otherwise be possible – just 9 kWh, around half the size of a conventional electric sports bike’s battery. This means weight is lowered with the Racer tipping the scales as a traditional ICE powered motorcycle rivaling 150kg (330-lbs) at least 25% less than existing electric sports bikes.

Low weight also allows a higher claimed range of 93 miles on a mixed cycle, including highways. In town, the energy capture from stop-start riding can double its range to around 180 miles between charges. The system claims to recharge to 80% in one hour from a home supply. It claims a power output of 95bhp enough to make the 0-62mph sprint in under three seconds on the way to a top speed of about 100mph.

Nawa adds that the ultracapacitor system can be removed and swapped for different levels of performance, allowing riders to tune their bike’s characteristics.

Ulrik Grape, CEO of Nawa Technologies, said: “Nawa Technologies’ next-gen ultracapacitors have unleashed the potential of the hybrid battery system – and this design of powertrain is fully scale-able. 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.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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