Technology Strategy Board grant to integrate KERS into a manual gearbox in Lotus-led consortium

Torotrak plc

(“Torotrak” or the “Group”) 

Technology Strategy Board Grant Award 

Flybrid KERS to be Integrated into a Manual Gearbox in Lotus-led Consortium

Torotrak (LSE: TRK) today announces the award of a Technology Strategy Board grant to develop a new application of the Flybrid KERS technology for integration into a manual gearbox, in collaboration with lead technology partner Lotus Cars Limited (“Lotus”).  The award has been made under the Technology Strategy Board’s Low Carbon Vehicles Integrated Delivery Programme 10: ‘Building an Automotive Supply Chain of the Future’, to a consortium (“the Consortium”) also including Productiv, the industrialisation specialists.

The project is valued at £4.3 million to the Consortium members and will be part-funded by the Technology Strategy Board grant, with a value of works undertaken by the Group directly of approximately £0.7 million over the course of the project. It will run for approximately 24 months from its commencement in the second quarter of 2014 and will see the lightweight, race-proven Flybrid KERS technology installed into one of Lotus’s signature performance road cars.  The development of the system which integrates Flybrid KERS into a lightweight car, shows continued progress in our strategy of delivering production ready technology for the mass car market.  This grant funded project aims at developing the UK-based supply chain for low carbon automotive technologies , and helps Torotrak become further engaged in the UK automotive supply chain.

Lotus will lead the project, providing donor vehicles, development support, and purchasing Flybrid hardware to test the installation.  Flybrid will design, develop and manufacture bespoke flywheel KERS hardware for integration with the Lotus manual transmission.  Productiv will offer production support throughout design and development. There will also be a number of key subcontractors working closely with the Consortium on transmission integration and optimum control implementation.

Jeremy Deering, Torotrak’s Chief Executive said: “This project is further proof of our engagement with the automotive industry and plays to our strengths – low carbon engineering excellence, supply chain development and low volume prototype manufacture as a precursor to eventual, more widespread, licensed production for passenger cars.  We are delighted to be a part of this Consortium.”

Jon Hilton, Torotrak’s Commercial Director and Flybrid Co-founder, added: “The opportunity to integrate Flybrid KERS into a lightweight, agile performance car will be a step towards integration in higher volume manual transmission compact cars in the future.  We look forward to working with Lotus and Productiv.” 

For more information, please visit www.torotrak.com or contact: 

Torotrak plcJeremy Deering, Chief Executive / Rex Vevers, Finance Director
Tel: +44 1772 900931
Charles Stanley Securities  (financial adviser and joint broker to Torotrak)Marc Milmo / Karri Vuori / Carl Holmes
Tel: +44 20 7149 6000
N+1 Singer  (joint broker to Torotrak)Andrew Craig / Ben Wright
Tel: +44 20 7496 3000
Tavistock Communications  (financial PR)Simon Hudson / Lulu Bridges / James Collins
Tel: +44 20 7920 3150 or +44 (0)7966 477256

About Torotrak

Torotrak is a leading developer and supplier of variable drive transmission, engine boosting and kinetic energy recovery systems for vehicles.  Our portfolio of technology solutions substantially improves fuel economy and reduces CO2 emissions in vehicles through harnessing the power of supercharging to enable engine downsizing, capturing and recycling energy that would otherwise be lost and managing the engine at the optimum point.  Torotrak completed the acquisition of Flybrid in January 2014.

Flybrid KERS

Flybrid’s core technology is a flywheel-based kinetic energy recovery system, for use in mobile applications. The mechanical hybrid system uses no batteries, and works by recovering kinetic energy during braking which would otherwise be lost, and then returning the stored energy to assist the vehicle under acceleration. The Flybrid KERS is lightweight and compact, and its ability to store energy and deliver power does not deplete during use. The net result of Flybrid KERS in most vehicle applications is a significant reduction in fuel consumption, however the technology can be applied to deliver significant additional performance as well as fuel saving.

Technology Strategy Board and Integrated Delivery Programme

The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency.  Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation.  Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org.

The “building an automotive supply chain for the future” competition is the tenth competition run under the Technology Strategy Board’s Integrated Delivery Programme (IDP), part of the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform (LCVIP) set up in 2007 to promote research, design, development and demonstration of low carbon vehicles in the UK. The programme aims to integrate the low carbon vehicle innovation chain, from the science base through collaborative R&D to fleet-level demonstration.