Industry summit maps way ahead for new fuelsIndustry leaders have heard from a selection of companies who are all working to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of innovation in the car industry. The presentations took place at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Retailers (SMMT) International Automotive Summit at Canary Wharf in London.
Industry leaders have heard from a selection of companies who are all working to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of innovation in the car industry. The presentations took place at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Retailers (SMMT) International Automotive Summit at Canary Wharf in London. Founder of Dearman Engine Company, Toby Peters, addressed the Technology Stream of the conference to discuss the UK's continued role as an important hub for innovation in the motor industry. He outlined development of the company's Liquid Air Energy technology.
This innovative new fuel utilises highly compressed air to power car engines, using the pressure of the liquefied air to move pistons. The only by-product from the system is air. Mr Peters accepted that his technology is not a 'silver bullet' solution to the industry's search for a new, sustainable and clean power source but instead positioned it as being part of a package of new technologies that would help the UK move towards a zero carbon car industry. He highlighted the help been given to his company by academic institutions and industry colleagues and suggested that this model was key in the success of such ventures. The liquid air engine could be available as early as 2017.
Tim Woolmer of YASA Motors also addressed the conference. His company works on next generation electric motors for cars and he focused on the development of a specialist small electric motor for use in sports cars and motorsports. Mr Woolmer championed the collaborative nature of companies in this segment of the industry and emphasised that "early customer feedback is key to the long-term development of these types of technologies".
The summit continued with Dr Graham Cooley, chief executive of ITM Power, a company focused on hydrogen fuel cell technology. Dr Cooley revealed that many major vehicle manufacturers had already committed to integrating hydrogen fuel cell power trains into their product plans. He went on to discuss the 'chicken and egg' issue of a refuelling network not being viable until there were sufficient hydrogen fuel cell cars on the road, while the cars will not sell until that infrastructure is in place. In response to this challenge, Dr Cooley welcomed the government's UKH2 Mobility initiative, which has allowed car manufacturers, technology companies, academic institutions and government bodies to come together and map out the way ahead for the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. It seems that the motor industry in the UK is determined to be at the heart of the next wave of alternative fuel vehicles.
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