Hyperdrive develops efficient diesel solution to help reduce cost of EVs

A company in North East England is developing an innovative new range extender that is designed to reduce the range limitations of electric vehicles (EVs). Range anxiety is a major barrier preventing EV take-up and Hyperdrive’s new system has the potential to be integrated into an existing EV in series with the vehicle’s powertrain to reduce these consumer fears.

“Compared with existing technologies, our Range Extender is a low cost, compact and high power-density unit,” says Hyperdrive managing director, Stephen Irish. “We believe this product is the perfect way to overcome the hurdle of range anxiety and it is further evidence that the North East is producing innovative solutions to achieve a low carbon future.”

The North East has a strong EV infrastructure already in place, including the UK’s only dedicated EV test track to support trialling and testing of technologies such as Hyperdrive’s latest Range Extender. It is also second only to London in terms of the number of public charge points and is the centre of EV-based skills development and education. “We aim to have the unit developed, assembled and tested  in the North East and sold world-wide, generating additional jobs and revenue for the region,” says Irish “This is an unusual product aimed at the smaller, light weight end of the power spectrum which we see as being of enormous interest to niche applications.”

The project is just one ground-breaking initiative which has successfully received funding through the Collaborative Projects Fund. The fund was set up in North East England last year to provide grant funding to collaborative industry-research organisation project and is supported through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund programme.

The capabilities of Hyperdrive’s 15kw petrol range extender have already been proven and this project, with the help of £278,331 funding from the Collaborative Projects Fund, allows for the development of a more efficient 15kw diesel engine. The Range Extender is being developed for use in cars, light commercial vehicles, marine applications, and even as a portable power pack for breakdown services. It is being developed as a compact and cost-effective option, which will allow for a reduction in EV battery pack size resulting in decreasing vehicle weight and cost.

The unit, which uses only proven components to ensure maximum reliability and efficiency, has been designed to run only at optimised points and is switched off when not required. CAN-enabled, it optimises the use of shared engine, generator and ECU components to avoid compromise in the reduction of lower carbon emissions.

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About Hyperdrive
Hyperdrive brings fresh thinking to the challenges of electric and hybrid vehicle powertrains, control systems and electronics design. Founded by two senior engineers with substantial automotive industry experience with vehicle manufacturers, global first tier suppliers and consultancies, the business has quickly established an impressive portfolio of clients. Hyperdrive technologies include Battery Management Systems, Bespoke Battery Packs, Control Electronics and an easily-implemented Range Extender engine, supported by the expertise required to implement these technologies within world-class vehicle development programmes. Customers include vehicle manufacturers, first tier suppliers and large fleet operators of electric vehicles.

Founders Stephen Irish (managing director) and Chris Baylis (non-executive director) both have strong track records of delivering large automotive innovation projects. Both directors have previously held senior positions at Jaguar Land Rover and at global tier one suppliers. Baylis has managed development programmes at Nissan Europe where he was chief engineer, and at Delphi. He is also a past winner of the prestigious Dewar Trophy for engineering innovation, the UK’s leading automotive technology prize.

About the Collaborative Projects Fund
The fund provides grant funding to collaborative industry-research organization projects in the North East England. Its purpose is to stimulate business growth and development, and generate private sector jobs in the Low Emission Transport sector. The Low Emission Transport Collaborative Project Fund is part of a wider £6.2m Regional Growth Fund programme designed to boost the growth of the low carbon sector in the region.

The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is a £2.4 billion fund operating across England from 2011 to 2015. It supports projects and programmes with significant potential for economic growth that can create additional, sustainable private sector employment. It aims particularly to help those areas and communities which were dependent on the public sector to make the transition to sustainable private sector-led growth and prosperity.

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