If it depends on Wicher ‘Vic’ Kist from the Saietta Group, it sure is. “Actually, we are already in the game and we’re very certain to be in the lead in the near future”, says the Dutch CEO. “I believe we are uniquely positioned to update the Asian lightweight motorbike market which is expected to dominate demand for motorbikes; global annual motorbike sales are independently forecast to increase to circa 100 million by 2030, 40% of which are expected to be electric. We are aiming to capture a material proportion of the rapidly expanding electric motorbike market.”
THE PACK has got an invitation from Saietta to test their new build-in AFT motors in some (existing) light electric vehicles at the RDW testtrack in The Netherlands. You shouldn’t ask us twice for these kinds of requests … off we went! And we have promised to tell no jokes about the Flux Capacitor …
As a test, Vic had bought 2 Hero’s Xtreme 160R (a 160 cc lightweight motorcycle) in India to build in the AFT motor in one of the models. This enabled the team to quickly make a comparison between the two motorcycles in terms of power and riding behaviour. It soon became clear that the electric version was a remarkable improvement over the traditional model. By the way, the full test integration was carried out by New Electric from Amsterdam, a developer and system-integrator of complete electric drivetrains for high performance electric vehicles.
First of all, the Hero “Electric” has no polluting exhaust gases of course and was extremely silent due to the new motor technology supplemented with the new drive belt instead of a chain. The power has increased with 15 % and was remarkably present when starting on various gradients on the test track. We did the test ourselves and the electric version always got off the grid much earlier (and easier) than the ICE model. Wicher Kist: “The torque from the traditional 163 cc motor is 14 Nm at 6500 rpm. With the AFT140 motor the electric test model gets 60 Nm from 0 RPM and delivers 100-150 Nm peak.“
A few months ago, Saietta did some similar tests with a Renault Twizy. The first Twizy was a standard Renault model while the second was upgraded to Saietta’s AFT 140 electric motor. All other systems and components were left untouched meaning that the only difference between the Twizy siblings was the original motor in one test vehicle and the AFT 140 motor in the other EV.
The testing took place across two days in a wide range of weather, temperature and traffic conditions, on varying road surfaces. The engineering team at New Electric concluded that the Saietta AFT 140 Twizy had on average at least a 10% increased efficiency gain over the standard Renault Twizy.
“We are absolutely delighted that these independent tests have shown the technical capabilities of our AFT 140 electric motor, proving the significant improvement the technology can make to applications in the real-world today,” said Wicher Kist, Chief Executive Officer at Saietta Group.
The fully sealed AFT 140 is the first liquid-cooled axial flux motor from Saietta to go into production. The unique design provides class-leading performance with high torque density at low voltage and is particularly efficient on urban duty cycles. The AFT 140 motor is compact and very lightweight and has been rigorously designed for high automation in volume production, meaning that the technology can cost effectively deliver class-leading performance. The AFT 140 motor in the Twizy vehicle is an in-wheel variant of the AFT technology, demonstrating the full flexibility and modularity of Saietta’s motor innovation.
About Saietta Group plc
Saietta Group plc is an established engineering company based in Oxfordshire, England. It specialises in propulsion motors for a broad range of electric vehicles (EVs) and has engineered breakthrough axial-flux motor tech. It’s branded AFT (Axial Flux Technology) and is modular in design, meaning high and low voltage e-motor solutions can be provided from scooters to buses. Saietta provides end-to-end turnkey engineering services to OEMs from market research and product definition, CAE and simulation, e-motor electrical and mechanical integration, prototype build and vehicle testing on 20 miles of private test tracks. Once motor specifications are agreed for client applications, Saietta can take them into low volume manufacture and define the high-volume production processes for clients to replicate and manufacture under license. The AFT 140 is the first motor variant in production which is optimised for mid-power motorbikes and last mile delivery vehicles. The unique AFT design provides class-leading performance with high torque density at low voltage and is particularly efficient on urban duty cycles. AFT has been rigorously designed for high automation in volume production meaning AFT cost effectively delivers class-leading performance for the L-Category target market.