GKN Receives Grant To Bring Formula One Technology To Public Transport
GKN is one of the first companies to receive funding from a joint government and automotive industry fund for projects to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. GKN Land Systems and its partners will receive a £7.6 million grant as part of a £15.6 million project to apply Formula One technology for use in public transport, initially city buses.
The project is expected to deliver a 25% fuel saving for bus operators on inner city routes, potentially leading to lower fares for passengers and the ability for operators to keep some less economic routes open, as well as reducing the amount of CO2 in cities. Its Gyrodrive system is designed to store the energy generated by a bus as it slows down to stop, and use that energy to help accelerate the bus back up to speed, generating significant fuel savings.
Jules Carter, Head of Innovation at GKN Land Systems, explains: ‘Gyrodrive uses a high speed flywheel made of carbon fibre to store the energy generated as the bus slows down, which then generates electricity used by an electric motor to help the diesel engine drive the bus.’ Consortium members that GKN is working with include bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited, technology experts at Coventry University and S&S Windings, a leading niche technology SME. The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) will see government and the automotive industry each invest £500 million in the automotive sector over the next ten years to research, develop and commercialise technologies for the vehicles of the future.
Nigel Stein, Chief Executive GKN plc, said: ‘As one of Britain’s leading automotive manufacturing companies, GKN is very proud to be associated with the APC. We are excited to be working in partnership with Government, through the Automotive Council, to help secure the future of the UK automotive industry, developing technologies that will improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles and reduce CO2 emissions.
‘These technologies will keep UK automotive at the forefront of the global industry for many years to come.’ Earlier this month GKN announced the acquisition of Williams Hybrid Power from Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited to form GKN Hybrid Power, which is focused on delivering complete hybrid solutions across multiple vehicle, power and industrial markets.