Torotrak awarded Technology Strategy Board Funding for Excavator Project in collaboration with JCB
Torotrak has announced the award of funding from the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, to work in a co-funded consortium including JCB, on an off-highway vehicle project. The award has been made under the Advanced Propulsion Centre initiative, which is designed to advance the development and manufacture of new, low carbon vehicle technologies in the UK. The total project value is £7.3m, divided among the consortium members, with an anticipated £3.3m in funding from the Technology Strategy Board.
The 30 month project is expected to commence in mid-2014 and will focus on maximising efficiency of an excavator by modifying its hydraulic power delivery system and using mechanical energy recovery technology. Torotrak expects to receive funding of at least £1.1m to develop Flybrid® technology for an excavator application. In line with the aims of the Advanced Propulsion Centre, the consortium plans to significantly reduce fuel consumption and total CO2 emissions for JCB’s future excavator products.
Torotrak is pleased to be working with JCB on this project which takes the Flybrid energy recovery technology through a product development programme, targeting a production-ready design for the off-highway market. Mechanical energy storage technology is ideally suited to off-highway applications, and will offer a highly cost-effective way to reduce emissions and fuel consumption in heavy duty-cycle vehicles such as excavators. Torotrak has a high level of experience and understanding of the long life, low maintenance and rapid payback requirements of on-highway commercial vehicle operators, developed through the Flybrid-Wrightbus programme, which is due to see flywheel-KERS buses on the road this year. This new project will be an ideal follow-on to utilise this knowledge in a new market.
Jeremy Deering, Torotrak’s Chief Executive said: “Torotrak is delighted to be working with off-highway equipment market leader, JCB. This project further underlines the broad range of applications for our Flybrid® KERS technology, particularly in proving its value in demanding environments and harsh duty cycle applications.”