V-Charge Test Results

V-Charge testing milestone successfully achieved, meeting OEM target requirements


Torotrak, (LSE: TRK), a leading developer and supplier of emissions reduction and fuel efficiency technology for vehicles, is pleased to announce 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’), has successfully met the key target requirements.

The results of the independent V-Charge on-engine performance testing, in summary, were:

  • Key performance targets successfully achieved or exceeded
  • V-Charge in a twin-stage boosting configuration meets the target torque requirements to enable significant engine downsizing
  • V-Charge outperforms other advanced boosting systems

Further tests are being completed as Torotrak continues to progress towards demonstrating V-Charge in a Ford Focus from summer 2016 onwards

V-Charge is a variable speed supercharger for gasoline and diesel engines, enabling the level of engine boosting to be adjusted independently of engine speed and providing rapid torque response at any engine speed. V-Charge uses the Group’s unique traction drive http://vhealthportal.com technology to do this and as a result eliminates the ‘lag’ associated with conventional boosting technologies, particularly at low engine speed where other boosting systems struggle. V-Charge enables OEMs to radically downsize and downspeed engines by producing more torque from smaller engines at lower engine speeds and therefore delivering lower emissions whilst maintaining the driving feel of a larger engine. Engine downsizing and downspeeding is seen by the industry as critical to meet the challenging post 2020/21 emissions regulations in passenger cars in a cost-effective way.

The successful results announced today, provide an important independent validation of the performance advantages of V-Charge compared to other advanced engine boosting technologies and confirms the inherent advantages of V-Charge to enable significant engine downsizing and downspeeding. Delivering this important milestone is expected to generate increased market pull from a wider range of OEMs and to be the catalyst to securing technology licensing deals with Tier 1 partners.

Chris Brace, Professor of Automotive Propulsion, University of Bath: “The results of our on-engine dynamometer testing and analysis confirm that V-Charge can match or exceed the performance of other advanced boosting systems over a broad range of performance attributes. We believe that the technology offers a unique, purely mechanical solution, to engine boosting systems and is a key enabler for engine downsizing, a critical element of OEMs roadmaps to meet the challenging emissions targets whilst maintaining vehicle performance and driveability.”

Adam Robson, Chief Executive Torotrak: “We are very excited about the results achieved from the independent Bath study. The achievement of this major milestone confirms the significant advantages of our V-Charge boosting product and the contribution that the technology can make to the delivery by OEM’s of the post 2020/21 emissions targets with cars that customers want to buy. We next look forward to reporting to shareholders on our progress in licensing this important technology into the global passenger car market.”


The Bath Project: test results

The project was established to develop a production-orientated V-Charge twin-stage boosting system, to independently validate the real-world benefits of Torotrak’s variable speed supercharger and demonstrate the capability of the technology to enable significant engine downsizing whilst maintaining driveability. Critically, these results have been independently validated by the University of Bath in conjunction with a global engine boosting Tier 1 supplier on the class leading 1.0L Ford Ecoboost engine.

The key target parameters established by the participants in the project and successfully achieved or exceeded by V-Charge during the independent testing, are as follows:

  • Torque 200Nm – between 1,400rpm and 4,500rpm,
  •    – Torque 160Nm – at 1,000rpm,
  • Parasitic losses – up to 6% better part load brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) than incumbent clutched mechanical supercharger,
  • Noise – independent 3(rd) party assessment validates significant noise improvement compared to other mechanical superchargers.


V-Charge: features and benefits

The following key features, confirmed as important by potential Tier 1 licensing partners and OEM customers, have been validated as part of the project:


Feature: Compressor speed range – typically 10x to 100x engine speed


  • On demand variable air flow at any engine speed to provide performance, economy and emissions benefits
  • Allows precise air management and seamless turbo handover at all engine speeds


Feature: Continuous power capability


  • Enables optimal turbo sizing for maximum power output
  • Allows sustained continuous low speed torque when required


Feature: Ratio controlled traction drive CVT


  • Rapid time to maximum compressor speed
  • Low noise with no noise attenuation required
  • Lower installed cost
  • Smaller, simpler packaging


Feature: Low power electromechanical actuation system


  • Low parasitic losses
  • Low cost, compact standard automotive actuator



V-Charge: market uptake

The successful results from the Bath study confirm the capability of V-Charge to enable more radical engine downsizing and downspeeding whilst maintaining vehicle driveability and performance. This will enable OEMs to put smaller engines in vehicles to meet the challenging post 2020/21 emissions targets and still sell vehicles that deliver the performance that customers want to buy. V-Charge enables demanding engine downsizing and downspeeding without sacrificing performance or incurring significant additional cost. V-Charge offers OEM customers the following key benefits when compared to other boosting solutions:

  • Uses less fuel at full load than an equivalent non-variable mechanical roots supercharger, by delivering only the air that is required
  • Achieves faster torque response than two-stage turbocharging, or clutched mechanical superchargers
  • Is much quieter in operation than mechanical superchargers, or eBoosters which use switched reluctance motors
  • Can produce higher peak power than equivalent eBoost systems, as the V-Charge supercharger operates continuously at low engine speeds, which means that the turbocharger can be sized for higher engine speeds only and hence optimized for peak power
  • Offers significant performance advantages on alternative engine cycles such as Miller / Atkinson which are being investigated by OEMs for next generation engine platforms.


V-Charge: licensing

These important results confirm the significant advantages over other advanced boosting technologies and underpin the Group’s confidence in licensing the V-Charge technology into the global passenger market.


About Torotrak

Torotrak is a leading developer and supplier of kinetic energy recovery systems, engine boosting and variable drive transmissions for vehicles. Our portfolio of technology solutions substantially improves fuel economy and reduces CO(2) and other emissions in vehicles through capturing and recycling energy that would otherwise be lost, harnessing the power of supercharging to enable engine downsizing and managing the engine at the optimum point.

About Smart Project

The Innovate UK funded Smart Project programme is to develop a production orientated version of the V-Charge supercharger for a specific downsized engine application for passenger cars, involves initial simulation, on-engine rig testing and demonstration of real-world performance improvements and fuel economy from V-Charge. Bath is a world-recognised centre of excellence in the field of pressure charging and is responsible for independently validating the potential of V-Charge to improve fuel consumption and performance compared to incumbent boosting technology. The programme is being conducted in collaboration with a global Tier 1 supplier of engine boosting systems and with the participation of the Ford Motor Company.