3 minute read - 20th June 2022
Norton announces plan to build electric motorcycles in the UK
Norton Motorcycles has announced its intention to begin developing electric motorcycles in the UK after winning significant investment through a government scheme.
The iconic British motorcycle brand has been awarded funding by the Advanced Propulsion Centre’s APC19 initiative, which aims to assist businesses in the automotive sector in advancing their low-carbon offering while helping to accelerate the UK towards a net zero automotive future.
The project, known as Zero Emission Norton, will expand Norton’s electric vehicle engineering capabilities and develop world class electric motorcycles, which the firm says will still look “unmistakably Norton”. The team will refine the traditional Norton design DNA, but with modern twists introducing industry leading innovations and digital solutions.
Norton will work with a range of specialist project partners to deliver an electric product that simultaneously provides race performance and touring range. The team encompasses Delta Cosworth, HiSpeed Ltd., Formaplex Technologies, M&I Materials, INDRA and academic partner WMG, University of Warwick.
Norton will work alongside these partners to develop world-class technology and products that will enhance the UK supply chain for all the critical components in electric vehicle technology including batteries, motors, chassis, cooling oils and vehicle to home chargers.
As a result, the 30-month project is expected to create a significant number of jobs in the UK in manufacturing and R&D, as well as upskilling existing staff to be capable of electric motorcycle engineering.
Robert Hentschel, CEO of Norton Motorcycles, said: “This significant funding investment is a momentous milestone for the brand as it marks the beginning of our electrification journey and fulfilling our ten-year product plan. Norton is an exemplar of modern luxury and unafraid to challenge the status quo, innovating for the future of mobility while staying true to our British heritage. It also brings into focus our desire to support the UK in its mission for a net-zero automotive future.
“Working alongside our world class partners, we’re confident that project Zero Emission Norton will eliminate the current dispute between a conventional and electric motorcycle to create EV products that riders desire – motorcycles that blends Norton’s uncompromising design DNA with racing performance, touring range and lightweight handling.”
Ian Constance, chief executive of the APC, added: “The projects receiving today’s investment highlight the breadth of technologies needed to help the UK accelerate to net zero emissions. They’re reimagining not just vehicles, but transport in general.
“Norton is an iconic British brand with a proud history. From making motorcycles, to supporting the second world war effort, to developing the world’s first production superbike, they are now looking to the future with an electric bike that will deliver both performance and range. This will radiate from a UK manufacturing base and strengthen highly skilled jobs and green growth.”
Each project partner will have a specialist part to play in Zero Emission Norton. Delta Cosworth will design the battery pack, while HiSpeed Ltd. bring motor and inverter design and manufacturing skills. Formaplex Technologies has expertise in precision composites manufacturing and M&I Materials will support on applications of dielectric cooling with its MIVOLT fluids. Indra Renewable Technologies specialises in revolutionary vehicle to home charging technology, and WMG, University of Warwick, major on battery technology, modelling and toolchain development.