First published in Cleantech magazine Volume 6 Issue 4. Copyright Cleantech Investor Ltd
By Elisabeth Jeffries
Blaming the battery is a common response to concerns about the stuttering electric vehicle (EV) market, which has so far attracted only a few thousand customers each year in Europe and the USA. But in Oxfordshire, England one inventor, Patrick Head, has decided to address the problem from a completely different angle – by developing flywheel technology, based on centrifugal energy storage. Co-founder of Williams Formula 1, his approach to EV development by side-stepping battery technology garners plenty of support among automotive engineers, for whom it is a headache.
It is fitting that the high tech companies producing the fastest cars in the world help kick start the tortoise of today’s automotive scene – the EV.
“Because of the technical regulations of the sport there’s a limit to what you can do. There are no F1 regulations allowing electric F1 cars, it’s all internal combustion engines. But the scope for introducing innovations through development in the more mainstream market is much bigger,”
observes Nick Carpenter, technical director of Delta Motorsport, a Silverstone-based engineering and design consultancy that advises and collaborates with several Oxfordshire companies.