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    Industry News: Pashley Wins Inaugural NVN Nick Carpenter Innovation Award

    In memory of Nick Carpenter, Technical Director and co-founder of Delta Motorsport, the Niche Vehicle Network has established the NVN Nick Carpenter Innovation Award.

    Nick was a serial innovator and was at the very forefront of the electric car revolution. He was an unwavering supporter of the Niche Vehicle Network and had great enthusiasm working with others across the industry.

    The Nick Carpenter Innovation Trophy was unveiled for the first time at Cenex-LCV 2021.

    With a unique, specially designed Innovation Trophy, the purpose of the Award is to identify and promote examples of outstanding and innovative NVN funded R&D projects. The award trophy also celebrates the vision and innovation which Nick Carpenter brought to his work throughout his lifetime. 

    Created by Ariel Motor Company, with a unique and dedicated design, the Innovation Award Trophy is manufactured from Titanium, using 3D printing that pushed this specific technology to its limit.

    The Titanium base is comprised of spiralling rectangular elements, each signifying a distinct idea or innovation. 15 ‘idea’ elements around the base symbolise the 15 years of vision and innovative thinking that Nick poured into Delta Motorsport. Each ‘idea’ rests on and supports the others within the structure. The disparate ideas gradually move closer together as each draws in and upwards toward the optimal conclusion.  Together, these thoughts and dreams support a great design and engineering achievement. The refined upper section of the 3D print, and the removable machined Aluminium piece represent the culmination of the innovation, which is dependent on all the brave ideas which made it possible.

    There are 51 notches around the top of the trophy to remember each of the years of Nick’s life. Within the 3D printed structure of the Titanium trophy base there needed to be a way to allow Titanium dust (from which the trophy is formed) to be poured out after the printing process was completed, 2 large and 2 small vents are used here to represent Nick, his wife and their 2 children respectively.

    The Niche Vehicle Network are therefore delighted to announce the winner of the inaugural NVN Nick Carpenter Award as Pashley, with their project partners Simpact, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and Foresight Innovations for their ‘Articulating Lightweight Electrically-assisted Cargo Solution’ – “ALECS”, a zero-emission cargo tricycle, designed to meet the rapidly growing demands of the final-mile delivery market.

    Scott Thompson, Programme Director, Niche Vehicle Network said: “We’re delighted to confirm today that the ALECS consortium, led by Pashley has been chosen as the inaugural winner of the NVN Nick Carpenter Innovation Trophy this year. What might appear at a passing glance to be quite a traditional vehicle contains a number of innovative elements when you start getting into the details. It’s a great fusion of long standing and iconic British manufacturing combined with modern technology. It utilises vehicle dynamics simulation tools and an innovative tilting & carbon spring mechanism to greatly improve stability and rider confidence. Furthermore, utilises lightweight welded composites and the application of cutting edge game-engine virtual reality modelling to optimise the manufacturing environment. With the flexibility of different cargo-carrying configurations built into the base design, it’s no surprise that there is already significant interest from a broad range of sole traders to ‘blue chip’ fleet operators. Particularly for inner city and urban areas, the potential to replace the use of vans, cars and motorcycles for deliveries with a highly efficient, zero emissions solution that can also reduce congestion is an exciting prospect. I’m sure Nick would have really appreciated all those little details and innovations – technical, commercial, manufacturing & environmental – that combine to make it such a worthy winner.”

    Simon Dowson, Managing Director, Delta Cosworth said: “Nick was a passionate engineer, that was always looking for the next innovation, NVN has been an important part of the Delta journey over the years and for them to honour Nick’s life with this award means so much to Nick’s family and I”.

    Adrian Williams, Managing Direct, Pashley Holdings said: “It is a great honour to win this award as we know how enthusiastic Nick was to encourage innovative thinking and new product development. Whilst we realised that there was a huge potential market for the truly low carbon vehicle we had conceived, we then had to make the concept a reality, and the “ALECS” Team faced many challenges during the NVN Proof of Concept and Production Readiness stages. It was only through teamwork and by finding innovative solutions to problems encountered along the way – whether in the drivetrain, materials and structural engineering, or production process optimization – that we were able to bring the project to a successful conclusion. We now have a world-leading product that we can sell internationally.”

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham