Award-winning technology presented to top industry executives

Invited audience shown commercial potential of cost-effective hybrid system 


3 December 2010: Torotrak plc (FTSE: TRK.L) picked up its Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LCVP) award yesterday on behalf of the Flybus consortium that is developing a flywheel-hybrid bus. As part of the prize, the company was given the opportunity to present the Flybus technology to influential senior executives representing relevant sectors of industry.

Truck and bus manufacturers such as DAF; Daimler; Dennis Eagle; Iveco; Isuzu; Leyland; MAN and Volvo attended the presentation, alongside major fleet operators such as DHL; Royal Mail; Eddie Stobart; Tesco; Unipart and Wincanton. Technology companies such as Allison Transmission Inc; GKN and Ricardo were also at the event.

Reducing the carbon footprint of heavy goods vehicles is an essential part of business planning for industry. Recognising this, the LCVP Technology Challenge this year identified technologies with the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of trucks and buses by delivering real-world improvements to fuel economy and CO2 emissions.

“It was an honour to collect the award on behalf of the Flybus consortium and to have the opportunity to explain the technology and its benefits to such an influential group of people,” said Torotrak’s chief executive Dick Elsy. “We were pleased at the level of interest and the discussions that took place. Since winning the award we have received a lot of positive feedback from industry with a number of companies expressing interest.”

The LCVP judges were particularly impressed with the Flybus system’s potential to be retro-fitted to existing buses and trucks and the opportunity this presents to fleet operators for a cost-effective conversion. The technology reduces CO2 emissions by around 20 percent during urban stop-start operation, equivalent to an electric hybrid but with a much lower vehicle conversion cost.

In addition to leading the programme, Torotrak provides the continuously variable drive technology that makes the essential link between the flywheel and the vehicle transmission. The exchange of energy in both directions between systems running at widely varying speeds places exceptional demands on the flywheel drive, making a continuously variable system essential.

Torotrak’s partners in the consortium include bus maker Optare, providing a Solo bus for conversion, and engineering consultancy Ricardo, providing the high tech flywheel assembly. Allison Transmission Inc, supplier of the Solo’s automatic transmission, is also supporting the project.

More details about the LCVP Technology Challenge award can be found at 

More details of the Flybus project can be found at


Torotrak is the world’s foremost developer of full-toroidal traction drive technology. The company designs and develops Continuously Variable (CVT) and Infinitely Variable (IVT) transmissions which deliver outstanding levels of performance, functionality and refinement along with improved fuel economy and reduced emissions. Torotrak develops main drive transmissions as well as variable ratio transmissions for application in flywheel-based mechanical hybrid systems and for use as auxiliary drives. Torotrak operates in the automotive, truck, bus, off-highway and agricultural markets, in motor sport and in outdoor power equipment. Its customers are widely spread across Europe, North America, India and Japan, and include major vehicle makers and tier one transmission manufacturers. Torotrak plc is fully listed on the London Stock Exchange.



Ricardo is a leading provider of innovative engineering solutions and strategic consulting to the world’s automotive, transport and energy industries, combining business, product and process strategy with fundamental technical research and the implementation of large-scale new product development programmes. With a network of technical centres in the UK, North America, Germany, China, India, Japan and the Czech Republic, Ricardo serves a wide and balanced customer base in the automotive, transport and clean energy sectors.

For more information about Ricardo, go to 


Optare plc is a leader in the UK bus and coach industry. The company specialises in the design, manufacture and supply of single and double-deck buses, coaches and smaller vehicles, and also offers a comprehensive after sales service.

For more information about Optare, please contact: Martin Hayes/David Rowlands at Automotive PR – 0207 494 8050 or go to 


Allison Transmission, Inc. (Allison) is the premier global provider of commercial duty automatic transmissions and hybrid propulsion systems. Allison products are specified by over 250 of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers and are used in many market sectors including bus, refuse, fire, construction, distribution, military and specialty applications. Founded in 1915, the Allison business is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. and employs approximately 3,000 people. Regional headquarters with dedicated support staff are located in China, The Netherlands, Brazil, India and Japan. With a global presence in 80 countries, Allison has over 1,550 distributor and dealer locations.

More information about Allison is available at 



The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership is an action and advisory group, established in 2003 to take a lead in accelerating the shift to low carbon vehicles and fuels in the UK and to help ensure that UK business can benefit from that shift.

The LowCVP is a partnership of around 170 organisations from the automotive and fuel industries, the environmental sector, government, academia, road user groups and other organisations with a stake in the low carbon vehicles and fuels agenda.