WMC producing First Response Hybrid Motorcycles
White Motorcycle Concepts has begun production of its pioneering electric hybrid motorcycle – the WMC300FR – after Northamptonshire Police became the first emergency service in the world to place a pilot fleet-order for the innovative new vehicles.
Police and Crime Commissioners throughout the UK are coming under increasing pressure to reduce carbon emissions within budgets, while maintaining their operational requirements. This is something that has become increasingly hard to do with millions of pounds required to create the necessary charging infrastructure to fully equip an around-the-clock police force with electric vehicles – particularly with the technology still evolving rapidly. The WMC300FR has been designed to bridge the gap with its pioneering and innovative hybrid three-wheeled scooter as an immediate viable solution both environmentally and economically.
British engineering company, WMC, founded by Chief Executive Officer Rob White and based in Northamptonshire, along with Northamptonshire Police led by Chief Constable & UK Police lead for Motorcycles Nick Adderley, as well as a select group of British engineering innovation companies including EY3, TotalSim and Productiv have developed the WMC300FR over the past four years.
The result is a cost-efficient hybrid-based solution for emergency services, ready to be deployed without the need for any infrastructure, and capable of operating within the current fleet.
Unveiled as a prototype in June 2021, the circa. £14,000 bike has been optimised and developed into production specification and is now being manufactured to order. The WMC300FR is designed specifically for use as an operational first response and community patrol vehicle. Fully prepared for frontline use, it also meets the increasingly important climate change objectives of a modern emergency service, all the while remaining cost-effective to the taxpayer.
The WMC300FR using the same patented Venturi Duct technology central to WMC’s all-electric WMC250EV high-speed demonstrator used in its world electric land speed record programme. The three-wheeled scooter is based on the Yamaha Tricity 300 platform and uses the same 292cc single- cylinder four-stroke motor, but the WMC300FR features a duct and top box made from recycled aerospace grade carbon fibre – developed by X Works, and a hybrid power assist utilising two 56V 12Ah detachable lithium-ion rechargeable EGO Power+ batteries.
The duct works to force air through rather than around the bike, increasing energy efficiency through its significantly lower aerodynamic drag ratio, thus reducing carbon emissions by 50%. All this combined allows the WMC300FR to reach an astonishing urban fuel economy figure of 104mpg.
Ongoing development since the bike’s unveiling has also allowed WMC to optimise the electric drive so that the hybrid motor delivers all the vehicle’s power from standstill, when it is most effective. Once the bike is at speeds of more than 30mph, to avoid the battery draining rapidly, the conventional petrol power source takes over when it is at its most efficient and can benefit from the additional drag reduction at a higher velocity.
The use of detachable batteries also means that the bike is not subject to charge waiting, while the addition of a mobile power source and inverter to the production version of the bike means that the WMC300FR can become a mobile work station, complete with three-pin plug and USB ports – a key factor in modern policing with regards to rapid evidence capture and witness statement gathering.
The three-wheeled scooter, developed in conjunction with Northamptonshire Police, and with the cooperation and guidance of the Chief Constable Nick Adderley – the Motorcycle Lead for UK Police – is the result of nearly three-year’s worth of research into pioneering drag reduction aerodynamics. This, paired with the latest generation of hybrid technology, can reduce carbon emissions by 50% of that of comparable conventional motorcycles and scooters.
Funded in part by government grants from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles [OZEV], one of the most outstanding aspects of the WMC300FR First Responder is that it is a tangible example of the scheme paying back into the community through job creation, economic growth, tax savings and all while working towards a greener future.
It is expected the first WMC300FR, equipped with a Woodway Engineering blue light system, will be put into service by October, 2022.
Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable & UK Police lead for Motorcycles, Nick Adderley said: “The transport infrastructure is changing for everyone and we need to ensure we are prepared for the future with a sustainable fleet that not only meets the green agenda but also enables us to deliver the policing service our communities need and want.
“We very much welcomed the opportunity to work with WMC in the development of this innovative and incredibly efficient vehicle for emergency service use, and I look forward to seeing the new additions to our operational fleet on the streets of Northamptonshire as we continue to fight crime and protect those living and working in our communities.”
WMC CEO Rob White added: “I am incredibly proud of the final production WMC300FR, a great deal of work has been put in by a number of great British companies to reach this point. The motorcycle has been through 12 months of further evaluation and development, where we have selected repeatable, sustainable manufacturing techniques, created a full suite of APQP documentation (including build plan) and created a motorcycle that is fit for purpose.
“The prototype was a fantastic starting point, but we have now refined this model to be more compact, incorporating new requirement-critical features and I can’t wait to see these on the streets of Northamptonshire.”