Confirmation of V-Charge Test Results

Torotrak, (LSE: TRK), a leading developer and supplier of emissions reduction and fuel efficiency technology for vehicles, is pleased to announce the latest results of the on-engine V-Charge testing programme conducted by University of Bath (‘Bath’) in collaboration with a global Tier 1 supplier of engine boosting systems and with the participation of the Ford Motor Company (‘Ford’).

In summary:

  • V-Charge on-engine performance rig tests completed on time and confirm simulation predictions
  • New testing with specifically tailored turbocharger planned for April completion
  • Integrated V-Charge solution predicted to outperform other advanced boosting technologies in fuel economy, performance and cost
  • In vehicle demonstration available in July

The initial simulation phase of the project was successfully completed last year and we are pleased to announce that the next phase in the programme (of planned on-engine rig testing of V-Charge with a standard off-the-shelf turbocharger on a 1.0L Ford Ecoboost gasoline engine) has now also been successfully completed in January as planned. The test results have been independently validated by Bath and confirm that the fuel consumption and performance of V-Charge is highly competitive and in line with expectations. V-Charge successfully achieved the target requirements in boost pressure, mass airflow and power consumption and delivered class-leading ‘time to torque’ (a measure of transient response) delivering 90 per cent of target torque in under 500ms. These results are in line with the simulation models developed by the Company in conjunction with Bath.

The test results have been shared with our Tier 1 partner and with Ford and opportunities to further improve the performance of V-Charge in a production-intent twin-stage boosting system have been identified. Working in conjunction with Bath and our Tier 1 partner and using our validated simulation model, we have specified a production turbocharger unit which is optimized to maximize the performance improvements and fuel economy of the V-Charge equipped engine. The partners expect that this revised configuration will demonstrate further benefits from the technology and confirm the full extent of engine downsizing and downspeeding that can be achieved with V-Charge. The Tier 1 partner in the programme has committed to delivering the adapted turbocharger unit in March 2016 and it is anticipated that the results from on-engine testing will be available in April 2016. The parties expect these results to show that this new V-Charge configuration outperforms other advanced boosting technologies.

The partners plan in addition to complete the installation of this twin-stage boosting system of V-Charge and the matched turbocharger in a Ford Focus by July 2016 for demonstration to customers. Drive cycle testing will also be conducted by Bath to NEDC and the new WLTP procedures, further validating the real-world benefits of V-Charge.

The cost study currently being undertaken in conjunction with the Tier 1 indicates that V-Charge will be a lower cost solution than other advanced boosting solutions when integrated into a vehicle.

As noted in the Company’s interim results in November 2015, we continue to see increased levels of interest by Tier 1s and OEMs in our V-Charge technology both for passenger cars and also smaller off-highway commercial vehicles. Our discussions with potential licensing partners and potential OEM customers confirm the importance of the following key features and benefits of V-Charge:

Feature                            Benefit 
---------------------------------  -----------------------------------------------------------------
Compressor speed range 
  - typically 10x to 100x                  *    On demand variable air flow at any engine speed to 
  engine speed                                  provide performance, economy and emissions benefits 

                                           *    Allows precise air management and seamless turbo 
                                                handover at all engine speeds 
---------------------------------  -----------------------------------------------------------------
Continuous power capability 
  - 17kW (air power)                       *    Enables optimal turbo sizing for maximum power output 

                                           *    Allows sustained continuous low speed torque when 
---------------------------------  -----------------------------------------------------------------
Ratio controlled traction 
  drive CVT                                *    Rapid time to maximum compressor speed 

                                           *    Low noise with no noise attenuation required 

                                           *    Lower installed cost 

                                           *    Smaller, simpler packaging 
---------------------------------  -----------------------------------------------------------------
Low power electromechanical 
  actuation system                         *    Low parasitic losses 

                                           *    Low cost, compact standard automotive actuator 
---------------------------------  -----------------------------------------------------------------
Integrated 'DriveDisconnect' 
  function for full disengagement          *    Lower cost 
  without external clutch 

                                           *    Simpler packaging 
---------------------------------  ----------------------------------------------------------------

We look forward to updating shareholders with the next stage of testing for the optimized V-Charge twin-stage boosting system.

Nick Barter, Non-Executive Chairman said: “We are delighted with the independent test results achieved by V-Charge on a 1.0L Ford Ecoboost engine. These results confirm the capability of V-Charge to enable engine downsizing in a low cost, simple to install boosting system. We are confident that V-Charge offers passenger car OEMs and off-highway OEMs a cost-effective way to address the emissions reduction challenges they face from 2020 onwards while maintaining driveability, and we look forward to securing licensing arrangements to take this technology into a range of volume vehicle markets.”

Adam Robson, CEO said: “These results are very pleasing. I am very encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by our Tier 1 partner to extend the scope of this programme to include their new turbocharger configuration. This extra investment will permit us to show the fullest potential of V-Charge.”