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The dream of an electric motorcycle comes true

Presentación de Bultaco

The dream of an electric motorcycle comes true

Successful knowledge and technology transfer by UC3M

Motorcycle maker Bultaco is working with the Science Park at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), with R+D+i as the mark of its identity. Because this past September 26th, they celebrated the public presentation of their prototype, the Bultaco Rapitan Sport, an electric motorcycle that is expected to compete in races in 2015 and which, meanwhile, is being improved by their laboratories, whose R+D+i center is housed within the university.

In addition to presenting their new model, they also made the institutional presentation of the renewed Bultaco Motors SL, a company that grew out of LGN Tech Design, which originated in the Business Incubator of the UC3M Science Park (Vivero de Empresas del Parque Científico de la UC3M). In attendance at the event were the Chancellor of UC3M, Daniel Peña (in the center of the photo), who welcomed the attendees; the minister of Economy and Treasury of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, Enrique Ossorio (on the right); the mayor of Leganés and vice-president of the Urban Development Consortium Leganés Tecnológico, Jesús Gómez (on the left); and the chief executive of Bultaco Motors, Juan Manuel Vinós. This is an example that illustrates how innovations produced in the University can benefit companies and contribute to the development of new products. Therefore, the Science Park wanted to announce this successful case of knowledge and technology transfer by UC3M.

This innovative project was born of the efforts of two young UC3M engineers and a group of Spanish entrepreneurs who began developing it at the end of 2010. “This is an important success story, because of both the media response that it has generated as well as the symbolism that recovering the mythical Bultaco motorcycle has held,” commented Daniel Peña during the presentation. For his part, Manuel Vinós, highlighted the outstanding qualifications of the students and engineers trained at UC3M with whom they have worked since they established their company. “Our factory is in Montmeló, but the company’s R+D+i headquarters are in Madrid, specifically in the UC3M Science Park, where we feel right at home,” he noted. This fact will contribute to the consolidation of Madrid as a region that welcomes and promotes technological innovation and its application to energy efficiency, commented Enrique Ossorio, who emphasized the connection between the university world and the business world that this project exemplifies.

Electric and intelligent

The star of the show is not only an electric motorcycle, but also an intelligent vehicle. The new Bultaco, which features a propulsion system that allows it to reach a speed of 145 km/h, has a novel energy recovery system that considerably increases its autonomy with respect to the competition (up to 200 kilometers in the city). “This is an intelligent motorcycle because both the mechanical system and the electrical system are totally integrated, and because it can communicate not only with its surroundings, but also with its rider,” declares Yolanda Colás, of the brand’s engineering team. She was on UC3M’s Madrid-Puerta de Toledo campus that afternoon, demonstrating the machine’s power at an exhibition that was part of the Madrid European Researchers Night. This event designed to popularize science, in which more than ten institutions from around the region participate, is coordinated by the Foundation for Knowledge madri+d of the Community of Madrid, as part of the European Union’s Framework Program for Research and Innovation.

The control unit’s innovative software (BCU, Bultaco Control Unit) is responsible for this “intelligent communication”. It manages the power of the motor, the recovery of energy, the recharging of the battery and connection with mobile devices. Afterwards, by means of the Biker Manager application, created by Bultaco, the user will be able to use his/ her smartphone to see data such as the battery charge, the bike’s autonomy according to the type of driving being done or the location of the motorcycle, among many other types of information.

This legendary motorcycle maker announced its official return on May 17, 2014, a mythical date for Bultaco, because it is the same date that the company, which operated from 1958 to 1983, celebrated its anniversary. Its motorcycles were highly prized both on the road and in competition for many years, until an economic crisis forced it to close its factories. Therefore, the re-launching of this prestigious Spanish brand name with the creation of this new company, Bultaco Motors SL, is a source of pride for UC3M, as well as a success that gives visibility to the work carried out based on knowledge and technology transfer, according to the researchers at the UC3M Science Park. It is a great milestone in the nation’s industrial development, market and job creation.

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