Phil Edwards Header

Latest News from Phil Edwards of Weald Electric Vehicle Technology


About Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards trained as an apprentice ‘technician engineer’ in Sussex, and has worked in design, development, production engineering, and manufacturing roles for over 30 years. He has been involved in production work, bespoke and customised products, and prototype design and build.

Phil’s employment have nearly always been in low-volume or bespoke products, predominantly in high-technology manufacturing. He has led a number of lean manufacturing teams and delivered impressive savings in inventory and reductions in process times. His last employed role was as Operations Director at a Scientific Instrument manufacturer with responsibility for purchasing, planning, assembly, test, and worldwide service and installation of materials analysis systems.
For a number of years Phil was a judge at the South-East final of “Young Engineer for Britain” and the Engineering Council presented him with an award for “A major contribution to development of Young Engineers”.
 
In 2005 Phil became a self-employed manufacturing advisor working on lean manufacturing, value-engineering and process improvement projects as well as a number of cost-reduction projects for major organisations across all sectors.
 
In 2010 Phil combined a hobby of restoring motorcycles with a growing interest in low-carbon technology and set out to build an electric-powered drag-race motorcycle. Calling on a number of valuable industry contacts he designed and built a motorcycle that broke the record (held by Kingston University) for the fastest recorded standing-start ¼ mile time in the UK.
 
The bike was well received by the industry winning an Innovation Voucher and the Gold award in the Engineering category at the 2011 Green Apple Awards for Environmental Improvement. Both Phil and the bike have featured in print, online, and broadcast media. He is a regular attendee at eco and motorcycle shows with the bike and his road-going electric-conversion that he rides regularly, and often talks to motorcycle clubs at the social events.
 
Weald Technology are corporate members of Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP), and the Electric Motorcycle Industry Association (EMCIA). He sits on the “technical” and “regulatory” working groups for EMCIA..
 

Continue reading below for the latest news and updates from Phil.


News Update May 2017

Project Update

With the weather improving, and the drag racing season about to get into full swing, it's hard to reflect on the fact that we should have had the bike on track by now with Rob getting used to it and making some headlines.
 
Still, what's done is done. We've had lots of setbacks before, and no doubt some more to come, but we don't give up. So, what is happening...
 
Lyra Electronics are busy finishing their work now they've been given the project extension by Innovate UK. Their grant-funded work needs to be complete by the end of May; after that we're on our own again.
 
I'm still chasing support from a legendary name in British motorsport who has an interest in building the motor, but that's taking some time. We've also recently had an offer to build one "at cost" from another manufacturer. I'm awaiting more details on this so we can seek funding if we choose that route.
 
Rest assured we haven't given up on getting this bike running - this is just another delay in a long-running saga. Huge thanks to everyone who's stuck with us through good times and bad - it's not over yet.

News Update March 2017

Project Update

Innovate UK have finally approved a three-month project extension so that Lyra Electronics can complete their work. In their usual (slow) manner Lyra didn't get confirmation of the extension until the first month had already gone so they've actually only got two months but they should get most, if not all, of the tasks sufficiently complete. That just leaves the motor to finish and we're ready to run. We have an offer on the table to design one and are still seeking a manufacturer, or sponsor, to cover the cost of making it which leads me to the next story...
 
I did a talk to the Kent branch of the Welding Institute in mid-March. This had been in the diary for some months, following a chat with one of their members at the Ramsgate Sprint in summer 2015. It was a well attended talk at the Medway campus of Greenwich University and there was a lot of interest in the project. I had a couple of very interesting conversations at the end, one in particular that might open doors to solve our motor problems. We can't move forward just now - for a very good reason - but this is exciting as it would keep a legendary name at the forefront of British motorsport.
 
School activity continues. The teachers and students are always fascinated by the project and I still talk regularly at events. I'm also helping students at Brighton, Hove and Sussex 6th Form College (BHASVIC) to design and build a car for the Greenpower championship. Our long-standing sponsor, TR Fastenings, are kindly supporting the college with all the fasteners they need - thanks!

News Update October 2016

Project Update

It's been a bit quiet lately as we're trying to resolve issues with the electric motor, which was always a high risk part of the project.
 
I've no doubt we'll find a solution, but the delay is unfortunate as the rest of the project is progressing well.
 
Long standing supporters will know we've had many set-backs previously, but we keep plugging away and come through the other side eventually. I'm sure this is just another one of those.
 
Don't worry; I'll report back soon!

News Update September 2016

Project Update

It's been quiet over the summer for a number of reasons, but that doesn't mean we haven't made considerable progress on the rolling chassis (more specifically, Jo White at Vulcan Design, and Rob Moon, have). You can read about it below.
 
You'll also find information about the STEM activities we are developing, and hints about a very exciting showcase that I'm organising which will give some of our loyal sponsors some valuable exposure.
 

Sponsor News

Jo White had the 'pleasure' of constructing the chassis during the recent hot weather. Whilst we all basked in the sun Jo was shut in his workshop cutting and welding the mass of steel tubes.
 
He was locked away inside because the chassis created so much interest from other businesses and visitors on the estate where he works that everyone wanted to stop for a chat; interesting, but not helpful when you're concentrating on the complicated construction.
 
So he shut the doors, and the sun came out full strength, for a couple of weeks and baked him... sorry Jo, but it was worth the struggle. This blog post shows the results...
 
I'd also like to thank Rob Moon, our designer, for spending a lot of time with Jo discussing details and answering questions as the build progressed.
 
Once the chassis was back at my workshop I fitted the neat axle clamps/screws that Shaun from Rydal Precision recently made for us. They look great and should hold the back wheel in place when we unleash full power. You'll find images HERE.
 
Finally, I'd like to welcome Anthony Elvy on board as official photographer. He's been lined up to do this for some time, but there hasn't been a lot to photograph. He's up and running now though and has taken a few shots of the rolling chassis. You can find out more about his work HERE.
 

STEM Update

I am putting together some exciting school-based events (the main one being in Kent, but I'm also looking for opportunities at schools in Sussex and Surrey).
 
I'll use these extended sessions to work with the schools, educating them about the science and technology behind the bike and, hopefully, to provide our sponsors with a promotional opportunity at invitation-only business events. More details to follow...
 

Events Update

We had a great time, and made good contacts, at the STEMTech 2016 Exhibition and Conference in Telford in June. This was followed by a display at the Big Bang South East school science fair late in the month which attracted a lot of interest from the students.

News Update June 2016

Project Update

It feels like we haven't moved forward much over the last few weeks, but that's because were into detail now.
 
The big (more visual) steps are virtually complete and we're now working on smaller details, hence the bike doesn't look very different for all the effort that's gone into it. I'm sure Rob, Chris, Morgan, and Ryan will tell you otherwise!
 
I picked up the completed rear wheel a while ago from Warpspeed Racing which allowed Rob to finish detailing the back end of the chassis, and all of the components for the capacitor pack are here or in progress.
 

Sponsor News

I've got a few new faces to welcome to our growing list of sponsors.
 
Firstly, some months after first making contact with Tim Allen, MD of M J Allen Castings and Machining Ltd from Ashford in Kent, they're supplying the project with high-precision machining of motor mount plates and the gearbox casing. You can read the full story here.
 
Tim also introduced me to Shaun Compton, MD of Rydal Precision Tools - one of the M J Allen group companies - to help with some turned components. They completed those in under a week and they are now built into the dummy capacitor pack and down at Jo White's Vulcan Dezign workshop where chassis fabrication is taking place. Again, you'll find more information here.
 
Next I'd like to welcome Aerocom Metals to the project, our official supplier of T45 steel tube. There are more details here.
 
Finally I was glad we could help our good friends at Cooden Tax Consulting at a recent event at London's ExCel. This blog post explains it all.
 
Click HERE to see a list of our sponsors; please support them if you can or, if you need help with an Electric or Hybrid vehicle project, why not try our Technical Partners.
 

STEM Update

STEM activities have taken another leap forward this month. First, I'm busy preparing for the two STEM events - see events section below for more information.
 
I have also launched pilots for the 'Future Transport Challenge' at schools in Worthing and Crawley, and we'll be running more of these in July in Dartford.
 
We have a SepNET student joining us over the summer to help at events and also develop many more ideas that I have for in-school STEM programmes. This is the 5th year we've taken on a physics undergraduate through this scheme.
 

Publicity

Thanks to Laila and Ryan, and contacts from their Kingston University TT-Zero days, we had an article in a recent edition of the British Motorcyclists Federation magazine "Motorcycle Rider"
 
You can read the whole issue HERE (you'll find us on page 52).
 
I have a few opportunities to showcase the bike at major industry events over the coming months so there are plenty of opportunities for publicity for our sponsors.
 

Events Update

I've signed up to showcase our STEM activities, and raise publicity for the project, at two STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) events in June.
 
First we're at the STEMTech 2016 Exhibition and Conference at the Telford International Centre on June 14th. We're launching a range of new STEM workshops at this event, and I'm giving a presentation about the project to drum up some support. Our SepNET student, Sophie Lane, will be at this event.
 
The other event I've signed up for is 'Big Bang Fair South East' the huge science fair on 29th June at the South of England Agricultural show-ground in West Sussex. We're showing the rolling chassis at this event. Big Bang attracts over 7,000 students from across the south east and we're sure to get a lot of attention. Chris Kemp, one of our most loyal supporters, has kindly offered to help at this event.

News Update April 2016

Now we're really motoring!

The gearbox design is just about complete which means that Rob has been able to concentrate on the chassis layout. 
 
We've been talking to Jo at Vulcan Dezign about details of the fabrication, and I've ordered material to make 'dummy' components (motors and capacitor pack) for Jo to use when aligning everything on the bench.
 
Warpspeed Racing have just about finished the rear wheel/axle/sprocket/brake assembly so I'll be collecting those from Norfolk before the end of the month, and delivering them to Jo, along with the front forks that Suzuki kindly supplied.
 
The capacitors are waiting at  Lyra's workshop, and NE Plastics have been making the 'honeycomb' boards from PE300 polyethylene sheet - you can see images, and watch the router in action, at THIS blog post.
 
I had a few busbar laser-cutting tests done the other day, and now that Ryan has finished the design I'll be getting Caged Laser Engineering to cut them.
 
Our long term supporters at TR Fastenings have supplied 1,500 aluminium screws, and will be providing a lot more fixings for us over the next few days. You'll find more information HERE.
 
All in all, it's a very busy time and by the next newsletter fabrication and assembly should be well underway.
 
Oh, and I've been revising the draft of my book about the project, thanks to the support of Red Letter Books. Hopefully that will go to print soon and everyone that's been patiently waiting for a copy will be rewarded. Let me know if you'd like to put your name down.

News Update March 2016

Project Progress

The design of the capacitor pack is pretty well complete now, with just the final details of how to securely mount it to the chassis to be finished.
 
Similarly with the gearbox; we've been working closely with a new company (more info in the Sponsors section below) who picked up the challenge to design a reduction gearbox and we're close to finalising that design also. This is critical as it means that Rob can crack on with laying out the chassis in this region; the most critical area where the majority of the load and stresses are.
 
I collected the new Carbon Fibre front wheel from Dymag at the start of the month. It was fascinating to get a tour of the place whilst I was there and see the wheels in production. They really are a highly skilled and friendly team. I'll be doing a blog post soon. Thanks to everyone at Dymag for the hospitality and welcome.
 
Finally, I'm waiting for images from the University of Brighton to show progress on the aerodynamic work, and I hope to visit to see the scale model in the wind tunnel soon. I'll put up a blog post as soon as that's ready to show. 

 

Sponsor News

We've been working with Chris Hughes of 2Spec Design over the last few weeks. Chris has taken on responsibility for design and manufacture of the reduction gearbox, following a plea for help at the Niche Vehicle Network event last November.
 
Click HERE for a list of our sponsors; please support them if you can.
 
Do you need help with an EV project? Try our Technical Partners.
 

STEM Update

I'm continuing to develop the Future Transport Challenge that we'll be offering to secondary schools (and piloting with STEM Sussex in May). I also have a meeting at The Leigh UTC in Dartford to review the concept with their Head of STEM.
 
Following a recent STEM event in Rochester, hosted by Medway Education Business Partnership,  I've been developing an "Electric Bicycle Workshop/Challenge". Medway EBP will help promote it and deliver it, in primary and secondary schools, across Kent before I roll it out across a wider region.
 
I'm displaying the UK-record breaking bike, plus an electric off-road bike, at a school in Taunton in March as part of their STEM awareness day. That introduction came following my attendance at the Greenpower finals last October and I'm delighted to be able to support them.
 
STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths
 

Charity News

Thanks to the generosity of the recent Prize Draw winners I have donated the value of their prizes to Canine Partners instead of sending them their prize, which is very kind. Through this I have forwarded £70.80 to the charity on behalf of you all. Thank you.

Project Update February 2016

We had a bit of bad news recently when Ioxus asked if they could delay shipment of the capacitors. We accepted this as they had a very good commercial reason to do so. This will delay getting the bike on track by a few weeks though, so it's going to be late in 2016 before we're running.  The upside is that it does give us a bit more time to resolve some other issues.
 
I've posted on the blog with more information and many more images about the chassis build and set-up at the NEC in January. You can read it HERE
 
I have also added more details and links to the new sponsors, Dymag and Aerocom, on a separate blog post... Details Here

News Update January 2016

Project Progress

It's been an incredibly busy time since the last newsletter. We put together a mock-up of the rolling chassis - with huge support from Jo White at Vulcan Dezign -  just in time for the Energy Efficient Motorsport Conference in January. This event was hosted by The MIA and held at the NEC the day before Autosport International opened its doors.
 
You'll see an image of the bike further down the newsletter. It was a great moment to see it in its physical form after so many years of looking at CAD images and sketches.
 
The design of the final drive continues and we are close to a solution now that GEM MC have fixed the motor size and characteristics. I will update the blog with further information and let you know when the articles are online.
 

Sponsor News

I'm delighted to welcome two new sponsors this month from my visit to Autosport International. Firstly I was delighted to secure a carbon-fibre front wheel with ceramic bearings from Dymag... details HERE
 
I also spoke to Aerocom Metals and they've discounted the T45 steel tube that we'll use for the chassis. You'll find details of Aerocom HERE
 
Full details will be on the blog very soon... I'll let you know when.
 
Click HERE to see a list of our sponsors; please support them if you can.
Do you need help with an EV project? Try our Technical Partners
 

STEM News

This continues to be very busy with a number of careers fairs lined up plus presentations about the bike.
  
The series of workshops that I'm designing for Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 are progressing well and I'll soon be discussing how we can use them with the Greenpower teams.
 
For more information about Greenpower see HERE
 

Prize Draw

Congratulations to Malcolm Diamond and Wendy Nash who each receive a 'Fast Charge' branded sweat shirt. I'll be in touch to arrange delivery.
 

Publicity

The recent issue of Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technology International contains an impressive article about the project. You can read it online HERE

News Update December 2015

Project Progress

Things are really starting to pick up pace now. We're making good progress with the capacitor pack; the busbar designs are almost finished (after a couple of late revisions) and I picked up a sample for the 'honeycomb' mounting board from a new sponsor (more of that below).
 
A sample of capacitors have been through a rapid-cycle test at Manchester University, doing 20 (full-power) 1/4 mile runs in TWO minutes, with the pack temperature rising 45 degrees above ambient during this test. We won't manage 20 runs in a day, let alone 2 minutes, so there is clearly no need to worry about the pack overheating in normal operation.
 
The chassis design is on hold though whilst we sort out the final drive. We know what we need to do, but finding a way to do it is proving to be an interesting challenge... Learn More
 

Sponsor News

I'm delighted to welcome two new sponsors this month, one from an introduction resulting from the Kent Manufacturing Expo, and one from a fellow exhibitor at Advanced Engineering Show. You can find out more about NE Plastics and Sigmatex in the latest sponsor blog post.
 
Click HERE to see a list of our sponsors; please support them if you can.
 
Do you need help with an EV project? Try our Technical Partners
 

STEM News

STEM activities have taken a big leap forward this month. First, I met Medway Education Business Partnership to discuss primary school technology workshops in Kent
 
I also started discussing a 'Future Transport Challenge' that we're hoping to pilot in Sussex in 2016, and at the recent SepNET students Expo in London I met the Education Director from the Science Observatory at Herstmonceaux who's interested in workshops.
 
Finally, I recently met up with 'The Leigh UTC' at Dartford, where we discussed a range of joint STEM activities that we're preparing.
 

Charity News

I had a great morning at Uckfield FM recently with Canine Partners. You'll find more information and can listen to the interview HERE. Don't forget we donate a percentage from all merchandise sales, and supporters club subscriptions, to Canine Partners. Visit their website for more information about Canine Partners.
 
I'm also looking at a plan to take the Future Transport Challenge (see above) to Greenpower to build upon their electric racing series. I've still go some work to do on that but will discuss it with them soon... Find out more about Greenpower.
 

Price Draw

There'll be another prize draw next month.
 
The next one will draw two winner, who'll each receive one of our new Fast Charge branded sweat shirts. If you're subscribed to the newsletter, you're in with a chance. Good luck.
 

Publicity

Autovolt Magazine has just run a lengthy feature on the project that has been waiting in the wings for quite some time. Thanks Jonathan for doing this for us.
 
The next issue of Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technology International contains an article looking into the novel powertrain technology from Lyra, GEM, and Ioxus. That is due out in January 2016.
 
Rob Moon, our chassis designer, has just had (another) article published by the Hi-Power Media Group, this time in their annual Drag Race Technology magazine, focussing on motorcycle chassis design. This annual publication provides a fascinating insight into the technology behind drag racing - it's certainly not all brute force!
 
I've also got two enquiries from TV producers who are interested in what we're up to; unfortunately I can't disclose either of them yet.
 

Events Update

4th-5th November: Advanced Engineering, NEC Birmingham
A very tiring few days but an excellent show, and I made a couple of very good contacts. Well worth the time and effort.
 
25th November: Niche Vehicle Network forum, Silverstone UTC
I picked up a good contact for gearbox design at this event which is one of the avenues we're pursuing to solve our final drive problem. I also took the opportunity to see Jo at Vulcan Dezign on the way home to discuss the chassis build for Autosport International which will be a last minute effort
 
13th January: Energy Efficient Motorsport Conference, The NEC
The main event of t season for anyone involved in low-carbon/electric motorsport. this is held the day before Autosport International opens to the trade and is full of all the top names in motor racing.

News Update - November 2015

Project progress

Good progress has been made on the three main modules; the chassis/bodywork, the capacitor pack and the motors. The designs are interlinked of course so as we make progress in one area they all leap forward... Learn More
 

Sponsor News

We've got a couple of new sponsors in the pipeline as a direct result of the Kent Manufacturing Expo where I gave a presentation recently. See the blog for details
 
Click HERE to see our sponsors; please support them if you can, or if you need help with a project try our Technical Partners
 

Latest Prize Draw

A subscriber’s prize draw is long overdue. This time I'm offering a pair of adult tickets to Autosport International at the NEC in January and I'm delighted to say the winner is IAN BARRATT of Mind Strengths. Well done Ian, I'll be in touch soon.
 

STEM News

As the project gathers momentum I'm keen to maximise the STEM opportunities for schools and colleges. I've got plenty of ideas which I'll be discussing with STEM providers soon... Learn More
 

Events:

  • 4th-5th November: Advanced Engineering, NEC Birmingham - Displaying the original bike in the 'Low Carbon Vehicle Feature Display' to promote the Fast Charge project to 15,000 attendees. Advanced Engineering show guide
  • 10th November: STEM Review, Rochester, Kent - Meeting with the Medway Education-Business Partnership to discuss how we can use the Fast Charge to inspire students in Kent. About the Medway EBP
  • 18th November:  SepNET Students Expo, London - Supporting our placement student at the SepNET Student Expo as she showcases the production analysis of an electric motorbike that she did for us in the summer. About SepNET
  • 25th November: Niche Vehicle Network forum, Silverstone UTC - A Regular meeting of vehicle designers and manufacturers. About the Niche Vehicle Network

Looking ahead...

In December I'm giving a presentation to students at the University of Kent (Canterbury) and then we have the big show in January 2016 - the 'Energy Efficient Motorsport Conference' at the NEC, the day before Autosport International. More about those next month...

News Update - October 2015

Project progress

Capacitor Pack

Slow progress recently but we’re pretty close to the final solution with this part of the package.
 

Motor/Controller

Really good progress here, although packaging it all in the frame is proving a real headache. GEM MC have finalised the motor size and the controller sizes. The most fascinating part now, from an engineering perspective, is matching performance on the track against performance from the motor.
 
We know at 1/3-second intervals exactly what speed we need to be doing (and hence the rear wheel rpm) and what power and torque the motor needs to be delivering. With the chosen gearing we can then work out the exact motor rpm-torque-power characteristics. By plotting these points in a huge spreadsheet we can select the exact frequency of the controllers at precisely that point in time to deliver the correct performance and see the motor efficiency at that point. There are loads of variables though so we’ll probably run though those calculations multiple times to get the best, and most efficient, control programme.
 
Of course it’ll not behave anything like that once we get on track, but we’ve got to start somewhere. The track-side tuning promises more excitement – and frustration - next year!
 

Aero/Bodywork

The University of Brighton has circulated the aero projects to their new final-year students and I’m awaiting responses to go and select two students to pick up this challenge.
 

Wheels

Very good progress on this. Firstly I’m about to place the order for the complete rear wheel assembly – a 15” diameter x 14” wide rear wheel. I’m waiting for Warpspeed Racing to give me a quote and I’ll pay the deposit to get material underway. Time is very tight as we need to get the bike to the NEC in January and they’re quoting (worst case) of 12 weeks.
 
With regard to the front wheel I’m delighted to welcome BikeHPS to our list of sponsors. They’re giving us some support to get a Dymag Carbon-Fibre front wheel, fitted with Ceramic bearings. The wheels are incredibly light (2.2kg) which will help reduce rolling resistance and inertia, and the low-rolling resistance bearings will considerably reduce drag so we can make use of every bit of power in the system. They are agents for both of these products as well as many other high-quality parts for performance road and race bikes. If you’re after upgrades or accessories have a look to see what they can do for you. You’ll find more details HERE – tell them we sent you!
 

Events

I had a great day at the Canine Partners HQ in Heyshott, near Midhurst, recently. I took the bike to do a photoshoot for a press release announcing our support for them, and in particular our new initiative - donating a percentage of all Supporters Club and Merchandise income to the charity. They’ve already had a small donation from the Ramsgate Sprint, and we’re determined to continue helping them this way. The press release and pictures are on the BLOG.
 
I am showing the original bike at the Kent Manufacturing Expo at the Kent County Showground (Detling) on October 7th and doing a couple of presentations to raise the profile of the project. If you’re going to the event come and say hello – details are HERE.
 
We’ve got space in the Low Carbon Vehicles Feature at Advanced Engineering, a two day show attracting 15,000 visitors, held at the NEC at the start of November. Again, I’ll be showing the old bike and promoting this project to an audience from world-class companies involved in automotive, aerospace, electronics engineering, and composites; a great opportunity to raise our profile and attract more support. Show details are HERE.
 
I’ll be displaying the new bike at the Energy Efficient Motorsport Conference, run by the MIA and co-located with Autosport International at the NEC in January. Sponsorship opportunities are available on our showcase display – please get in touch if this is of interest.
 
Phil Edwards - Project Director EV1000 world-record electric drag-bike challenge

News Update - September 2015

  • APC Hi-Rel took the original bike along to the big low-carbon vehicle show at the start of September (LCV2015) to help promote the new project. This was well received and gained a lot of interest.
  • I’m on Stand 188, and have two presentation slots booked, at the Kent Manufacturing Expo in October. The original bike will be on display and I’ll be promoting the project to the engineering and manufacturing community.
  • A few days later I’ll be at the Greenpower National Finals at Rockingham Motor Speedway
  • In November I’m at the NEC for the two-day Advanced Engineering show in the ‘Low Carbon Vehicle Display’ (part of the Automotive Zone). Last year this event attracted over 15,000 professionals from aerospace, automotive, composites and electronics businesses.
  • The NEW rolling chassis is planned to make its public debut at the NEC in January at the Energy Efficient Motorsport Conference (formerly Low Carbon Racing Conference). Running the day before Autosport International this conference attracts senior technical staff and decision makers from the motor racing world. Electric motorsport will feature heavily this time with Formula E and the recent success at Pikes Peak foremost.
  • Finally, for now, the NEW bike is booked for the APC Hi-Rel stand at the Powertrain Conference at the National Motorcycle Museum in February.
Phil Edwards - Project Director EV1000 world-record electric drag-bike challenge

Phil Edwards and the team finally have the go ahead to start the EV1000 Project!

"We’re starting! Yes, that’s right; I’m delighted to announce that we’ve finally got the go-ahead to start the project.

This is a major milestone. It’s almost three and a half years since I came up with the idea and, with a huge amount of planning and lots of support from some very loyal people, we formally start the design and build on May 1st. I’ll outline the project plan in a later update so you know what to expect during this 12 month phase."
 

Congratulations to Phil and all the team from TR Fastenings! 

For further info on the project have a look at the EV1000 website here

Phil featured in our latest R&A 2013

'Back in May 2011, an electric motorcycle (photo) designed and built by Phil Edwards set the UK record for electric motorcycle drag racing. As is the nature of motorsport the record was lost so Phil simply had to respond; the lure of record-breaking proving irresistible.' Read full article.

News update - August 2014

A short update this time as there’s not a lot to report… continuing to chase money sums up my last few weeks. I’ve got three opportunities to pitch to investors soon so a lot of my focus is on putting together a good story. If you know anyone looking to invest in the future of transport, and take a share in some of the clever technology we’re developing, do tell them to call me on 01825 761890.
 
We’ve had coverage in British Dealer News recently, and articles are due out soon in South East Biker, The Road (journal of the Motorcycle Action Group), and a new publication Alternative Race Technology.
 
Nile Fulker, formerly of Northbrook College but now working at Ricardo, is producing some tremendously good looking aerodynamic work on the bikes fairing and bodywork. I’ll post images on the blog as soon as I have some more.
 

New Logo and Name

Yes, the bike has a new name – Fast Charge, and a logo to go with it. It’s been known as EV1000 which is derived from an Electric Vehicle with 1000hp, but I’ve intended to give it a racing name like most drag racing cars and bikes. They tend to use aggressive names like Predator, Terminator, She Devil etc.
 
Our project has been christened FAST CHARGE; to go with that I’ve refreshed the website and added the new FAST CHARGE logo to it. The website is still live at www.ev1000.co.uk and it’s mirrored at www.fastcharge.org and www.fast-charge.org. I’ll be renaming the Facebook and Twitter Pages soon.
 

We’re up for another award – your vote is needed!

We need your online votes please! We’re shortlisted for the Education award in the e-Legacy awards promoted by Electronic Product Design and Test journal. This is in recognition of the work I do with the bikes to promote Science and Engineering careers at schools and colleges around the country. Please vote for us in the Education category at http://www.epdtonthenet.net/elegacy-voting.aspx
 

Website & Social Media

Don’t forget to tell friends and colleagues about the project website at www.fastcharge.org. Please also tell them to follow/like us at www.twitter.com/wealdevt and www.facebook.com/wealdtech
 
Phil Edwards - Project Director EV1000 world-record electric drag-bike challenge

News Update - December 2013

I’m delighted to say that we were successful in the Low Carbon Motorsport R&D Funding bid and have an offer of a substantial grant towards the project costs.
This is a massive step forward, coming 2 years after I set out on this project; it’s been a long haul but we’re getting there, and I’m grateful to the many supporters that have been hanging on patiently waiting for this breakthrough. Many thanks for your support. More details will follow.
 
Phil Edwards - Project Director EV1000 world-record electric drag-bike challenge.

Press Release from the Technology Strategy Board

British motorsport champions take to podium in latest technology innovation race

London, UK: A selection of small and medium sized enterprises in the UK's ‘Motorsport Valley' have been recognised for their competitive edge and potential for growth in the latest initiative to help drive innovation in this cluster.
 
In all, 15 companies located in Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and the surrounding counties will receive a total of £1.14m from the UK's innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, to carry out 11 research and development projects as part of the Motorsport Valley Launchpad competition. Designed to enable companies within the cluster to collaborate and develop new energy-efficient technologies, the funding will facilitate and accelerate the economic growth of the winning companies and of the cluster as a whole.
 
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: "The UK is literally leading the global race in the motorsport industry, hosting some of the most innovative companies in the world. The Motorsport Valley business cluster is generating a range of exciting products that are revolutionising the sector as well as supporting growth and helping to create jobs. Through our industrial strategy, competitions such as Launchpad will allow businesses to take their technologies to the next level and keep them on top of the podium for years to come."
 
Among those selected is an engineering company that is developing lightweight fuel cells for automotive vehicles making them more energy efficient and a developer of nanocoatings being used to improve motor vehicle radiator systems by increasing heat transfer, improving cooling, and reducing fouling.
 
David Bott, Head of Innovation Programmes at the Technology Strategy Board said: "The companies within this cluster, 95 per cent of which are SMEs, represent some of the best producers of high performance engineering technology the UK has to offer. The motorsport industry is just one where the UK is already known as a leader. Companies such as those selected as part of this Launchpad are continuing to dominate the design, development and manufacture of components and systems used in the majority of the world's motorsport series. The Motorsport Valley Launchpad will help to continue this success by providing each company with the necessary support, connections and expert advisors to really drive the commercialisation of their winning innovations."
 
A vibrant business community with global sales of £7bn and exports of £4bn, the Motorsport Valley cluster invests more than £1bn annually in R&D and is made up of 3,500 businesses. It is led by cluster champion the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), which helps its members grow their businesses and acts as the voice of the industry to government and its agencies.
 
Chris Aylett, Chief Executive of the MIA said: "This inaugural Launchpad for the UK's motorsport industry has been a marvellous opportunity for many specialist high performance engineering companies to demonstrate their capabilities in energy efficient solutions. The winners will collaborate with others across the cluster and other sectors to deliver their work, and attract investment to support their success.  The MIA is delighted by the response to this first-ever ‘motorsport cluster' Launchpad and hope it will be the first of many. We will work alongside the Technology Strategy Board to encourage networking and collaboration to strengthen the cluster and benefit other sectors too."
 
The companies will now also benefit from support to develop their businesses and will be showcased to investors in order to access additional funding to enable them to conduct their R&D projects and commercialise the results.
 
Motorsport Valley is a registered trade mark of the MIA, owned by its members on behalf of the UK industry.

News update - February 2013

Events

I spoke to the Surrey and Sussex branch of the VMCC earlier this week, to a great turnout on a snowy evening. I was asked if I could do similar for the Sunbeam owners club in April, and similar for Warwicks VMCC in 2014 (these social night calendars get booked well in advance!).
 
I am always looking for more opportunities to talk about past and future projects, so if you know a club or society that would like a presentation let me know.
 
We’ve only just started discussing it, but I hope to put on an event with Mark and the team at Haslemere Motorcycles in a few weeks time – I’ll let you know and everyone will be welcome to come along.
 

Design

Rob Moon (Eclipse Performance Engineering) has finally sorted out the chassis – believe me it was not an easy job to package it all but I think we’re there now. I’m visiting both the motor/controller and power-source suppliers very soon to do a final check on the layout, and once they’re happy that we’ve allowed them enough space we should be ready to cut some metal. We just need to raise some cash to get that underway – more of which further down the page…
 
I mentioned last time that MCT Suspension had kindly offered to rework the springs and damping on the front forks, and indeed they did. The service was incredibly fast too. I sent the parts to them late one afternoon on a next-day carrier. At 4pm the following day Daniel from MCT was on the phone checking that I would be OK to receive the parcel as it was on its way back to me already – and by 10:30 the next morning I was once again holding the precious front forks.
 
In just over a day they’d been to MCT and back, all prepped and ready to run; a truly first class service. If you’re looking to improve your bikes handling for road or track give MCT a call on 01449 777161… tell them you heard about it here!

News update - December 2012

After a quiet period things are picking up. Rob is pressing ahead with chassis layout, we’ve almost fixed the power source (it’s big!), and components are being sent off for modification. See below for details…
 

Design

Rob Moon (Eclipse Performance Engineering) has been working on the chassis layout, struggling to fit the power source in. We are very close to a deal with the suppliers but can’t commit until we’re sure that it’ll go in the space.
 
Oh, and congratulations to Rob, riding for the Phoenix Racing team that has just won the 2012 ‘over 600cc’ NBC Endurance Championship.
 
Something I omitted from the last news letter is to say how grateful I am to London Advanced Motorcyclists. Why’s that? Well, back in the summer they invited us to talk at one of their social evenings, and the guys from MCT Suspension were there talking about suspension setup for road and track. They really know their stuff with years of experience behind them. Afterwards I kept in touch with them and, now we’ve got the front end (kindly donated by Suzuki GB) Darren at MCT Suspension has offered to shorten the fork travel and modify the spring and damping rates.
 
So, it’s many thanks to LAM for making the introduction and to MCT for their valuable support. If you’re looking to improve your bikes handling for road or track give MCT a call on 01449 777161… tell them you heard about it here!
 

Events

The Haslemere motorcycles ‘Green Day’ was more we than green, but they still put on a show and had plenty of people queuing up to test the Zero Motorcycles electric bikes. Thanks to Mark and the team for inviting me along.
 
I’ve already got a talk booked for February 2013 (Vintage Motorcycle Club) and am looking for more opportunities.
 
Phil Edwards - Project Director EV1000 world-record electric drag-bike challenge.

News update - November 2012

Events

It’s the end of the season now but we had a good few events, and just one more to come – and it’s this coming weekend so keep reading!
 
Wings and Wheels at Dunsfold Park was a great show. This took place over the August Bank Holiday (Sunday and Monday) although we could only make the Sunday. It was a beautiful sunny day and a massive crowd turned out. We had a huge amount of interest and a lot of people wanted to know about the bike and how it worked. All day long there were people taking pictures so it must appear in thousands of cameras and peoples phones now… just wait ‘til the new bike is launched!
 
We’ve one more event which sees us returning to our friends at Haslemere Motorcycles this coming Saturday, October 13th. They are holding a ‘green day’ with electric motorcycles from Yamaha, Rieju, and Zero Motorcycles. We’ll be taking the bike along as a more unusual ‘green bike’ but it promises to be another good day out. They put on a really good show on these events so pop along and see the products that are out now or shortly due for launch. If you don’t fancy an electric one, they’ve got some excellent deals on the full range of Suzuki and Yamaha, and a wide selection of second-hand machines.
 
The weather maps are currently predicting a sunny day so pop over and say hello.
 
That will probably be the last outing for the existing bike. The national motor museum at Beaulieu has discussed putting it in their collection, so it may be heading for a well earned retirement in the New Forest.
 
By that time its bigger brother should be on the loose…
 

Related Articles


Latest News from Phil - October 2012

Design

I think we’re close to finalising the power source now. We’ve had a very good proposal from a large company to supply the components, but we need to check that it fits in the frame as it takes up a lot of space. It’s a great solution though and I hope to reveal more next time.
 
Our friends at Brighton University who helped us with a small Kinetic Energy Recovery unit (KERS) are keen to discuss developing a much larger one for the project.
 
We’re getting a lot of technical help from Bob Brookes, a class-leading ‘Funny Bike’ fabricator and racer who is sharing his experience with Rob Moon, our lead designer, and Jo White (Vulcan Dezign) is working through his contacts book to see what help he can find. He knows people involved with single-seaters (up to F1), sportscars, historic racing, and Moto-GP.
 
Thanks to Mark Lucock (Haslemere Motorcycles) and Richard O’Brien (Training Manager, Suzuki GB) we’ve been donated a complete front-end from a Suzuki GSX-R 1000 so that’ll do very nicely for the front-end. Thanks very much to everyone who put the time in to help make this happen. The story is HERE.

Latest News from Phil - August 2012

Design

We’re still in discussion with the designer of our preferred motor. As I mentioned last time I have a really good solution from a UK company prepared to design and build a motor specifically for the task, as well as a matched controller. We’re talking of £50-60k for the whole package, but it sounds very promising.
 
The chassis fabricator has been sorted out and a press release went out just a few days ago welcoming Jo White of Vulcan Dezign, a top class race car fabricator.  See above for the news release in Articles. 
 
We’re getting a lot of technical help from Bob Brookes, a class-leading ‘Funny Bike’ fabricator and racer who is sharing his experience with Rob Moon, our lead designer. Rob incidentally is launching a new engineering consultancy – Eclipse Performance Engineering.
 
It looks like we’ve secured a supplier for machined parts too, and they are hopefully bringing their material suppliers on board.
 
On the bodywork we’ve had interest from two suppliers of bio-composites, and finally I’m chasing a man from Suzuki who thinks he can source a complete GSXR front-end.

Latest News from Phil - June 2012

Design

Motor suppliers are still foremost in mind. It looks like I have a really good solution from a UK company that will design and build a motor specifically for the task, as well as a matched controller. We’re talking of £50-60k for the whole package, but it sounds very promising. We’ll probably be running about 750volts and 1300Amps – that’s 900kW or 1200hp in old units!
 
I’ve sent the bodywork concept to a fibreglass company in Kent to enquire about them helping out. Not sure where it’ll lead to, but they’re a company I know quite well and they may be interested in doing the work in return for some publicity. If you know any suppliers who could help, in return for a spot of advertising, or use of the bike at exhibitions, do let me know on 01825 761890
 
I’m discussing the chassis with a single-seater car constructor too at the moment. We already have a quote form a top drag-race constructor, but I’m keeping options open at the moment. We’re working to raise the money to get the rolling chassis built as soon as we can – certainly to a shape that we can take it to shows. A few people are asking when they’ll see something ‘in the metal’ and it would be great to have something to show, certainly by the big “Wings & Wheels” show at Dunsfold in August..

Latest News from Phil - April 2012

Hi all, it’s been a fairly quiet time on the project recently, but behind the scenes we’ve been working hard to move it forward.
 

Design

Meetings with motor suppliers have been interesting. There are a couple of options still open, both UK sourced, but they’re not cheap! Some work to do there…
 
Owen at Furnace Design (www.furnacedesign.co.uk) has produced some great concepts for the bodywork, and is now working up a couple of versions for final selection. I’ll be posting some images on the blog soon.
 
We’re working to raise the money to get the rolling chassis built as soon as we can – certainly to a shape that we can take it to shows. A few people are asking when they’ll see something ‘in the metal’ and it would be great to have something to show.
 

Events

As mentioned above I’ve already fitted in some presentations and shows. Early in the year saw us at the Kentagon, Brands Hatch, for the Kent Advanced Motorcyclists social evening. Then in March I visited London Advanced Motorcyclists at Banstead one (very wet) Sunday morning, and just a week later we were at Real Classic Show at Ardingly Showground.
 
The diary has about a dozen more events planned for the coming months. The next one is at Haslemere Fire Station for their free motorcycle show on 22nd April. If you can, pop along and see us on the day.
 
For more information or to request a press pack, contact TR Marketing: marketing@trfastenings.com